We are currently preparing a single-issue local plan with the aim of allocating a site to meet the local accommodation needs of the borough’s Gypsy and Traveller communities.
According to the Housing and Planning Act (2016), we have a legal duty to consider the needs of ‘people residing in or resorting to their district with respect to the provision of sites on which caravans can be stationed’.
The London Plan, policy 3.8 (housing choice), calls on councils to work with the Mayor of London and local communities to identify the range of needs likely to arise in their areas.
In our core strategy, policy 2, we envisage that Gypsy and Traveller sites will be identified through the sites allocation local plan (SALP). However, it was not possible to include a site within the SALP, so we decided to identify a site through the Gypsy and Traveller site local plan (GTSLP).
We began preparing a GTSLP in March 2013. However, other priorities meant that things did not progress as planned, and we stopped preparing the local plan. We commissioned a Gypsy and Traveller accommodation assessment (GTAA), which was published in June 2015. This established the need for six pitches in the borough up to 2031.
In August 2015, the Government published revised national guidance in the form of a new planning policy for Traveller sites (PPTS). To make sure we have a robust assessment of current and future need that takes account of the new definition, we commissioned an update to the GTAA. The update (August 2016) identifies the continuing need for six pitches in the borough up to 2031. It also identifies additional need for ‘non-Lewisham’ households who meet the Government’s definition, and who we should provide housing solutions for by working with neighbouring boroughs.
In January 2016, the Mayor and Cabinet approved selection parameters and site selection criteria for finding a site(s) to meet the identified need. In March and April 2016, we consulted on draft parameters and criteria, and on a scoping report for integrated impact assessment. In July 2016, the Mayor and Cabinet approved the final parameters and criteria (taking account of the comments received).
Before identifying the sites we:
searched our assets (land and buildings) which were at least 0.24ha in size (based on six pitches with an average of 400sqm)
applied the approved criteria and commissioning studies on vehicular access and flooding on a long list of possible sites.
Through this process, we identified two potential sites:
New Cross Social Club and adjoining land, Hornshay Street, SE15
land at Pool Court, SE6.
In September 2016, the Mayor and Cabinet approved a potential sites report and integrated impact assessment for consultation. We consulted with stakeholders and the public on the two potential sites for six weeks in October and November 2016
In March 2018, the Mayor and Cabinet approved Pool Court as our preferred residential traveller site, following further investigations in to the two potential sites and consideration by the scrutiny business panel. We will be consulting on a Gypsy and Traveller site(s) local plan preferred site consultation report and integrated impact assessment between DATE and DATE 2018.
You can access the relevant consultation documents:
at our Planning Information Office, Ground floor, Laurence House, 1 Catford Road, London SE6 4RU (Monday–Friday, 9am–1pm, or on request during office hours)
at your local library.
You can also email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to David Syme, Strategic Planning Manager, Lewisham Council, 3rd floor, Laurence House, Catford SE6 4RU.
To be considered, your comments must include your name and an email or postal address. We will not consider any consultation responses that include prejudicial or discriminatory comments or language. All comments are public. We will not acknowledge receipt of your comments.
Representations must be made by DAY DATE. All representations received will be considered through the process of preparing the draft local plan.
If you have any questions, contact the Planning Team on 020 8314 7400