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New measures to protect the countryside

Proposed new measures to tackle travellers who flout planning rules and abuse the system will crack down on unauthorised sites, Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has said.

They will ensure fairness for all in the planning system and provide greater protection for our countryside and the green belt.Between 2000 and 2009 there was a 4-fold increase in the numbers of unauthorised caravans – which, the minister argued, created tensions between travellers and the settled population.

Measures proposed will ensure those who cause misery to their neighbours by setting up unauthorised sites do not benefit from the very planning rules they choose to ignore.

Brandon Lewis said:

“We will not sit back and allow people who bypass the law to then benefit from the protection it can offer.

“We have already strengthened the powers that councils have to enforce planning rules and take action against breaches which fuel community tensions. This will not only tackle the abuse of the system but prevent long drawn-out cases like Dale Farm.

“Today’s proposed measures go even further, and would end the perverse incentive for councils not to act when travellers ignore planning rules and set up unauthorised sites.”

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