Mayor to Double Number of Gipsy Sites Across London

Proposals mean a further 34 caravan pitches will be created locally

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Boris Johnson has announced plans to double the number of travellers' sites across London over the next few years.

The proposals, which are part of City Hall’s housing strategy, will see the number of sites in Ealing borough almost double, rising from the current 36 to 64.

Hammersmith & Fulham currently have no sites for travellers but will have six by 2017, should the plans be implemented.

Hounslow, however, is one of the boroughs where a cut is proposed reducing the number of sites from 20 to 15.

According to a report in the Standard, councils will have to decide whether to expand sites or build encampments. If they do not comply, they could be taken to court by the Government.

Boris Johnson argues that he has been forced to improve traveller accommodation by central Government meaning that nearly 800 caravan pitches will be created in the next eight years.

Freda Schicker, director of the London Gipsy Traveller unit, told the Standard, "We have people who have been on waiting lists for years and years and can only get rented housing. We would prefer to see smaller new sites as they tend to raise the least objection, preferably near services and shops and on quiet roads."

May 29, 2009