COUNCILS should be tasked with boosting gypsy and traveller spaces by about a third, regional planning bosses have said.
About 40 extra pitches – about 80 caravans – are needed to clamp down on illegal sites, a consultation launched this week said.
The Government has set aside £18m to help councils find the spaces – which they or private bodies can provide.
A consultation document on the plans state: “Everyone is entitled to have somewhere safe and secure to live, but in the past the system has not worked well for gypsies, travellers and travelling
“One in four gypsy, traveller and showpeople families living in caravans or mobile homes are homeless, as they have no legal place to stop – making it difficult to access services such doctors or
“Without new spaces for gypsies and travellers illegal camping will continue, causing tension with settled communities, cost to local authorities for enforcement and wasting public money moving on
people who have nowhere else to go.
“Providing the right number of new spaces in the right locations should benefit everyone in the long run.”
It said gypsies and travellers are “recognised ethnic minorities” and courts have established they “have a right to live their traditional lifestyles – living in caravans or mobile homes and
The document states: “Travelling Showpeople, including circus people, are not an ethnic group.
“They are small business operators who travel to pursue their livelihoods, which are often longstanding, family-run businesses.
“They need a permanent home base with storage and maintenance areas for their show or fairground equipment, including travelling vehicles and, in some cases, animals.”
The plan puts forward four options of 43, 43, 32 and 38 pitches.