Local development plans – defining Gypsies and Travellers: consultation

A consultation on a proposed definition of ‘Gypsies and Travellers’ for the purpose of local development plan regulations on evidence reports.


The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for all of Scotland's Gypsy/Travellers, a particularly marginalised group. This consultation seeks views on a definition of 'Gypsies and Travellers' for the specific purposes of section 16B of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 ("the 1997 Act").

Local Development Plans (LDPs) set out how places should change into the future; where development should and should not happen. The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 introduced a new stage in the preparation of LDPs - an evidence report. Under section 16B of the 1997 Act, planning authorities are required to produce an evidence report which, among other things, contains;

  • a summary of action taken by planning authorities to meet accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers, and
  • a statement on the steps taken by the planning authority in preparing the report to seek the views of Gypsies and Travellers.

The purpose of defining "Gypsies and Travellers" in regulations is to enable the Scottish Government and planning authorities to support the Gypsy and Traveller communities better. The Scottish Ministers will make regulations to specify the meaning of Gypsies and Travellers for the purpose of evidence reports. This consultation will help shape the definition to go into regulations. This definition will only relate to the requirements of 16B of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.

We previously set out a 10 point action plan published on gov.scot that aims to improve the involvement of Gypsy/Travellers in the planning system.

By having a strong national and local planning framework based on community participation, we can help to eliminate discrimination and encourage equality for all. The Scottish Government wants to ensure planning authorities properly involve the Gypsy and Traveller communities in planning the future of their places. Participation in this consultation can enable a stronger working relationship between Gypsies and travellers and the planning system, allowing their housing needs to be better fulfilled and uplifting the voice of their community.

This paper presents a suggested definition for the purposes of consultation. To inform this consultation's audience, this paper also presents background research and existing definitions in the UK.


Email: LDPRegsandGuidance@gov.scot

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