Neighbours views of official sites for travelling people

Tom Duncan

The creation of permanent sites for travelling people is usually contentious and often results in strong local opposition.

This study finds that:

  • In the three sites studied, all of which appeared to be well run, the problems experienced by site neighbours were far less than they had anticipated.
  • Many neighbours' fears had been based on previous experiences of illegal or unauthorised encampments; they tended to have had greater experience of
    these than of official sites.
  • Most domestic householders had no specific complaints and many acknowledged that their previous opposition had proved groundless.
  • Primary schools in the areas concerned had been able to cope with the arrival of traveller children.
  • Police authorities acknowledged the contribution of the sites to meeting travellers' needs and reported no noticeable increase in crime in the vicinity of sites.
  • well-run official sites have nothing like the disadvantages for neighbours which many anticipate before their creation.