The Guildhall in Hull.
The Guildhall in Hull.

Councillors to discuss plans to create additional permanent and temporary provision for travellers

Plans to create additional permanent provision for travellers in Hull, as well as a new adjacent temporary stopping site, will be discussed by councillors this month.

The new facilities would be created next to an existing site on Bedford Street and a new adjacent site on Mount Pleasant. The new provision would meet the requirements of the Hull Local Plan.

The plans would create 10 new permanent pitches and a 17-pitch temporary stopping place.

Councillor Mike Thompson, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods and communities, said: “Hull prides itself on being an inclusive, welcoming city, therefore it is important that we create this stopping place for the traveller community and additional permanent provision.

“The site will also improve an area of the city which is currently disused land.”

The city does not currently have any temporary provision for travellers. Last year there were 19 unauthorised encampments in parks and other open spaces in the city where there are no facilities.

Unauthorised encampments cost, on average, around £1,000 to clear. They also take up valuable time for local authorities and partners, such as the police.

A public consultation was carried out with local businesses and residents, including permanent travellers who live at the Bedford Street and Wilmington Park traveller sites, and their comments have helped inform the designs and plans.

If approved by councillors, there would be a formal planning application submitted where residents would also be able to comment on the plans.

Chief Superintendent Darren Downs said: “The introduction by Hull City Council of a temporary stopping site for travellers visiting Hull as well as additional permanent facilities will play a fundamental role in supporting the community.

“The new facilities will give our officers the opportunity to engage and continue building on positive relationships with the traveller community.

“Working in partnership with Hull City Council it will be great to watch this innovative initiative develop over the coming months providing safe, suitable and welcoming facilities to those whether they are visiting or residing in the area.”

The cost of the new facilities, which includes site acquisition, demolition of existing buildings, the new amenity blocks, landscaping and infrastructure, is currently estimated to be £4.2m.

If plans are approved, the council will make a bid to Homes England Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26. If successful, a grant of between £500,000 and £1m could be secured that would support the costs of the project.

Permanent site tenants pay rental charges for pitches. Users of the temporary site would be charged in order to cover running costs.

The Local Plan, adopted in 2017, identified a shortfall in both permanent and temporary traveller pitches with the need to provide three additional permanent pitches by 2021, and a total of nine by 2032. The plans for the site at Bedford Street would create 10 additional pitches. It is a statutory requirement for the council to satisfy and deliver the Local Plan.

The Local Plan also sets out a need for up to a 25-pitch stopping place site to be identified and delivered during the Plan period.

The delivery of the new sites is also a priority under Hull City Council’s Preventing Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy 2017-21 in order to prevent homelessness and meet the housing needs of gypsies and travellers.

The plans for the new site will be discussed by councillors at a scrutiny meeting on February 11.

Roadworks will take place in Hull.