11 Dec Discrimination in Gypsy and Traveller Planning Cases Challenged in Court
A hearing is underway in the Planning Court in a challenge brought by DPG client Lisa Smith to the definition of Gypsies and Travellers used by local authorities when making decisions about housing Gypsy and Traveller communities and the development of their land. The current planning definition, adopted in 2015, means that Gypsies and Travellers who have permanently stopped travelling in a caravan for work do not have their accommodation needs counted and struggle to get planning permission on their land. This makes the Gypsy and Traveller accommodation crisis worse, because many councils now say there is no need for more sites in their areas and stop looking for land.
Our client’s family was refused planning permission on a private site as she did not meet the overly narrow definition that is used. She challenges the definition as being indirectly discriminatory.
Liberty, the Equalities & Human Rights Commission, London Gypsy and Traveller Unit, Friends and Family Travellers FFT , Southwark Traveller Action Group STAG and the National Federation of Gypsy Liaison Groups NFGLG are intervening.