A report published this week found there is a need for more gypsy and traveller pitches in Essex.

Essex County Council, in conjunction with the 15 district authorities in the county and the gypsy traveller community, estimate the need for an additional 786 pitches in Essex by 2033.

The Gypsy and Traveller and Accommodation Assessment report, published on Tuesday, predicted a two per cent annual rise in the current 2,630 traveller population until 2033.

Cllr John Jowers, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Libraries, Communities and Planning, said: “By planning carefully for the county’s gypsy and traveller community, it is hoped that we will avoid some of the problems with illegal encampments that so frustrate residents.”

By law, all local authorities must assess the need for gypsy and traveller accommodation and ensure there are enough sites.

The location of new pitches will be down to the individual local authority in its local plan.

Epping Forest currently has 13 licensed gypsy sites.