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Accommodation needs assessment

Accommodation needs assessment

The Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment 2016 provides an evidence base to make sure we are planning to provide the right number of Gypsy and Traveller pitches and Travelling Show people plots in the future. This enables us to comply with planing policy and legislation in the same way as we plan for the needs of the settled community.

The study covers the period between 2016 and 2036 and was produced by Opinion Research Services (ORS), a professional consultancy which undertakes this type of work for local authorities across England and Wales. The study was commissioned by eight neighbouring local authorities, covering Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire, East Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Peterborough, Kings Lynn & West Norfolk, Forest Heath and Bury St Edmunds. A book containing charts and graphs

The study into the needs of Gypsies and Travellers included visiting all known families living in the district to help establish their future needs. Up to three visits per family were carried out to give the best chance of as many families as possible taking part in the study. 

The assessment was carried out based on the current planning definition of a Gypsy, Traveller or Travelling Showperson, which is set out in Planning Policy for Travellers Sites (PPTS). The key change is that people who no longer travel permanently will not now fall under the planning definition of a “Traveller”.

For South Cambridgeshire, the study identifies 20 pitches are needed up until 2036 for Gypsies and Travellers that meet the new definition.  However, this need could be met within existing sites or pitches that have yet to be built. Therefore no new sites are required for Gypsy & Travellers. 

For Travelling Showpeople, a need of 12 additional pitches has been identified for those that meet the new definition.

More information is available in the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment 2016.

2023 update

Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire District councils have commissioned Arc4 to carry out a Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment, to help both councils understand the accommodation needs of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities across Greater Cambridge. It will also look at the needs of Travelling Showpeople and other people living in caravans and houseboats. 

The evidence collected will show whether more local accommodation is needed for these groups; and if so, how much. It will help to inform the emerging Greater Cambridge Local Plan, which is currently being developed, and it should also help us to understand the needs of families or groups needing somewhere to stop temporarily in the area. We expect the work to be completed in early 2024.

Arc4 will be talking to members of the communities concerned, and to groups involved in working with and supporting them. If you would like to be involved, please contact

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