Dozens of travellers parking caravans in Rugby’s no-go zones

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Dozens of traveller caravans are on unauthorised sites in Rugby, figures show.

Newly-released data from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government shows that, in July, the vast majority of the 223 gypsy, Roma and traveller caravans in Rugby were situated on authorised sites.

But 28 caravans were on sites which did not have the required planning permission to set up an encampment. Of the unauthorised sites, four were declared to be not tolerated by local authorities, meaning active efforts were being made to move them on.

Not tolerated sites include those where a planning enforcement notice has been served, or where an injunction has been sought against the encampment.

The total number of traveller caravans in England has increased steadily. There were more than 22,600 in July, an increase of more than 5,000 over a decade.

A minority of traveller caravans were on unauthorised sites.

Jim Davies, from the Traveller Movement, said the figures showed that the stereotypical view of travellers painted by the media was not reflected in reality.

He said: “Certainly, the stereotypical view of gypsies and travellers on village greens and children’s football pitches presented by the media is largely inaccurate.

“Not only do close to 80 per cent of gypsies and travellers live in bricks and mortar accommodation, but of those unauthorised caravans counted at the last caravan count, more than two thirds were on gypsy or traveller-owned land.”

Mr Davies added that it was important that “policy makers and researchers consider the whole gypsy and traveller population, instead of the minority”.

All 195 authorised caravan sites in Rugby were on sites for which permanent planning permission had been granted. Some sites are awarded temporary planning permission.