Gypsy and Traveller Provision Consultation

Closed 24 Oct 2017

Opened 27 Sep 2017

Feedback updated 4 Jul 2018

We asked

For views on how Reading should approach its needs for accommodation for gypsies and travellers, including a proposed traveller transit site at Cow Lane.

You said

There were 222 responses, with the majority being objections to the proposed traveller site, including from nearby businesses and operations.  A summary of responses is included within the Policy Committee report.

We did

The responses were reported to Policy Committee on 11th June 2018, and it was decided not to proceed with the proposed transit site.  The resolution was to undertake further work on identifying potential sites.

Results updated 4 Jul 2018

A total of 222 responses were received. Of these, 164 (74%) objected to the proposal for a transit site at Cow Lane and Richfield Avenue. 31 (14%) supported the site if it is appropriately managed, 15 (7%) requested additional information and 12 (5%) raised other issues (had no comments or proposed an alternative site).

The following issues were raised:

  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Fly-tipping
  • Theft
  • Cost to taxpayers
  • Safety
  • Impact on Reading Festival
  • Effects on nearby businesses and trading
  • Traffic and highways
  • Landscape and visual amenity
  • Effects on Rivermead Leisure Centre
  • Flooding
  • Noise
  • Wildlife
  • Education and healthcare infrastructure
  • Privacy

In addition, many respondents expressed doubt that this approach would reduce the number of unauthorised encampments in the town.

Those who supported the site if properly managed (14%) noted that these individuals are vulnerable and subject to discrimination and should be given a safe and clean place to live with access to services.

The majority of individuals who requested more information were concerned about the site being funded with taxpayer monies and wanted to ensure that Travellers would pay for waste collection, water, sewerage and council tax.

A number of respondents endorsed sites already considered during the site assessment process and listed in the Consultation Document.  Several additional sites were suggested.



Local authorities are required to periodically assess the need for gypsy and traveller accommodation in their areas. As part of the Council’s Local Plan process, an up to date Gypsy and Traveller, Travelling Showperson and Houseboat Dweller Accommodation Assessment was completed in September 2017. It shows there is a need for 10-17 permanent pitches for gypsies and travellers and for transit provision of 5 pitches in the town (with each pitch able to accommodate two caravans). It also shows a need for 2 additional plots for traveling showpeople. There is no need identified for additional residential moorings for houseboats.

The Council has looked carefully at the scope to meet these needs within its boundaries, and has produced a Gypsy and Traveller Provision Consultation Document (September 2017). This proposes a transit site at land at Cow Lane and Richfield Avenue, and also contains information on the process for considering other sites within Reading.

The Document is open for consultation. Consultation will last until 5 pm on Tuesday 24th October 2017. Please send your written comments to the Council using the e-mail contact on this page or to Planning Policy Team, Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading, RG1 2LU.

The Council is currently preparing a new Local Plan that will set out the planning policies for Reading up to 2036. Your comments on this matter will be taken into account in drawing up the next stage of this Local Plan.


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