Gypsy/Travellers and the planning system: action plan

A 10-point action plan to involve Gypsy / Travellers in planning.

We are committed to ensuring that everyone has a stronger voice in the planning system. The quality of our places matters to all of us, and planning has a responsibility to ensure that the needs of all of our communities are understood and met. To do this, we are determined to break down any barriers that stop people getting involved in shaping the future of their places. 

Planning can play a vital role in ensuring that Gypsy / Travellers have safe and secure places to stop or settle. As a priority, in 2019 we will take forward the following actions to ensure that Gypsy / Travellers have a stronger voice in guiding the future development of their places.  

  1. We will look at how we can improve the way we plan for Gypsy / Traveller sites Including the role of Housing Need and Demand Assessments (HNDA) and Local Housing Strategies and specifically we will ask that Local Authorities, through the HNDA, must consult all relevant stakeholders about their accommodation needs, including consultation with Gypsy/Travellers. 
  2. We will work with the Gypsy / Traveller community to support them to use community led design approaches in shaping development in their area.
  3. We will require all planning authorities to alert us to any planning applications for Gypsy/Traveller sites to help us build an accurate picture of activity in the planning system.  
  4. We will commit additional resources to PAS, to provide dedicated support and advice to Gypsy / Travellers who are involved in the planning system.
  5. We will update (as required) and adopt PAS advice on Gypsy / Travellers as Scottish Government planning guidance.
  6. We will bring forward an amendment to the Planning Bill to ensure that planning authorities properly involve Gypsy / Travellers in planning the future of their places as part of further improvements to engagement in development planning.
  7. We will meet with the conveners of local authority planning committees and raise awareness of the need to involve Gypsy / Travellers in planning.
  8. We will raise awareness of the need to provide accommodation for Gypsy / Travellers directly with Heads of Planning Scotland at our annual meeting in November.  
  9. We have commissioned research to find out more about how the planning system currently addresses the need and demand for Gypsy / Traveller sites
  10. We will have a wider conversation on Gypsy / Traveller sites and the National Planning Framework, following the completion of scrutiny of the Planning Bill.  

This action plan is supported by the Scottish Government and has been discussed with members of the Gypsy / Traveller community plus HoPS, ALACHO and CoSLA. It will report to the Ministerial Working Group on Gypsy Travellers.


Planning and Architecture Division

March 2019



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