County wide review of traveller sites

A FULL scale review of gypsy and traveller accommodation in Somerset is being carried out. If new sites are found to be needed, they could be running in about a year. Under the Housing Act 2004, local housing authorities have a responsibility to provide

A FULL scale review of gypsy and traveller accommodation in Somerset is being carried out. If new sites are found to be needed, they could be running in about a year.Under the Housing Act 2004, local housing authorities have a responsibility to provide adequate accommodation to gypsies and travellers.Sedgemoor District Council's strategic housing manager David Baxter said: "The act gives the authorities more power to deal with unauthorised sites. If the proper sites are provided neighbouring residents and the travellers will both know where they are legally allowed to stay."A provisional assessment of the area suggests the current provision of 550 pitches needs to be increased by a further 1,100.The survey of the area will include face-to-face interviews with gypsies and travellers to identify specific requirements.After the interviews are complete pitch and site requirements will be determined. Land availability and site designs will also be drawn up, before planning applications are submitted.