More than 120 traveller pitches need to be provided across the county by 2038, according to a draft of Wiltshire’s “Gypsies and Travellers Plan”, which is due to be considered by the council.

The draft plan details how the council will meet the needs of the community until 2038 and describes a need to deliver “well-designed sites in keeping with their surroundings”, as well as “culturally appropriate accommodation for gypsies and travellers.”

The document will be considered in the cabinet meeting on Monday, July 15, before it goes to full council.

The plan provided an overview of the strategy to meet the accommodation need.The plan provided an overview of the strategy to meet the accommodation need. (Image: Wiltshire Council)

It states that most travellers in Wiltshire are “English or Romany Gypsies, and Irish Travellers” and that this “diverse group of communities” have their own histories and traditions but share the key feature of nomadism.

National planning policy requires that councils plan for the accommodation needs of all groups within the community, including travellers and “travelling showpeople”.

Local authorities have responsibilities regarding these groups, such as identifying land in the “right locations to meet need through sustainable development”, addressing “unauthorised encampments”, and reducing “tensions between traveller and settled communities”.

The draft plan indicates that there are 85 sites with around 380 pitches and plots for travellers in Wiltshire, the majority being authorised private sites.

It adds: “There are also three sites with 50 pitches for gypsies and travellers that are owned and managed by Wiltshire Council.

“The distribution of sites in Wiltshire generally follows an arc from Cricklade in the north of the county to Warminster in the west, with additional sites around Salisbury in the south.”

The document clarifies that provision should be made for 128 permanent pitches for gypsies and travellers and 8 plots for travelling showpeople by 2038.

This will include new allocations and the intensification of certain pre-existing sites.

The four main objectives of the plan include meeting the identified accommodation needs for gypsy and traveller pitches and travelling showpeople plots to 2038 through site allocations, broad locations for growth and a policy framework for assessing proposals.

As well as making provision for three council-managed emergency stopping places to provide temporary accommodation.

It also aims to deliver well-designed sites in keeping with their surroundings, and in appropriate and sustainable locations with access to services and facilities which respect both the interests of the settled and traveller community.

The last objective is to set out the approach to meeting needs for culturally appropriate accommodation for gypsies and travellers that do not meet the planning definition.

It is anticipated the draft will be submitted to the Secretary of State for examination in early 2025.