Gypsy and Traveller short stay FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Gypsy and Traveller short stay stopping sites in Suffolk.

Find out more about our call for Gypsy and Traveller short stay sites in Suffolk.

Providing short stay provision for Gypsies and Travellers passing through or residing in the county.

Suffolk hosts between 30 and 40 unauthorised encampments a year on private and public land, impacting on businesses and conservation land. Providing the sites will reduce the number of poorly located unauthorised encampments.

Cost is dependent on the location of the site and its proximity to water and waste services.

The cost of the sites will be met by contributions from all the district and boroughs and the county council and Suffolk constabulary.


Yes. Norfolk has 5 short stay sites and despite having a larger Gypsy, Roma and Traveller population, has far fewer encampments, and those they have are re-directed to the short stay sites.

Each unauthorised encampment has a cost to the public sector, and therefore the tax payer.

Costs vary from encampment to encampment, but can be from £200 a time to over £20,000 in some instances. It is estimated that the average cost of dealing with a single encampment is about £5,000.

51, from September 2014 to September 2015.


Local authorities are required to conduct a needs assessment for Gypsy and Traveller provision.

Based on the number of unauthorised encampments in the county, a needs assessment produced by an independent body recommended that 3 short stay stopping sites should be provided in Suffolk.

Close to the main Suffolk trunk roads, A12, A14, and A140.

Having looked at the number of unauthorised encampments over the past 7 years, there are not sufficient encampments to warrant a site in this area.

These areas are where most encampments are situated. 

Potential sites will be subjected to a strict assessment criteria which will carefully consider the needs of both the settled, and Gypsy and Traveller communities.

Hard standing areas and a water stand pipe. Temporary facilities like toilets and waste collection would be provided on site, as and when a site is in use.

This would be part of the weekly rent.

The sites need to be no smaller than 0.15 hectare.


The Suffolk Planning Officers group developed the criteria, which was approved by the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders Group.

December 2016.

We are confident sites will be proposed. However, as well as asking others for potential locations, the borough, district and county councils will also be considering if they have any locations that may be suitable.

Yes. A period of consultation on specific sites will take place before the end of the year.

Yes, the sites will be available all year round, but secured when not in use.

The sites will be managed through the Suffolk partnership, which is made up of senior offices from the police, district, borough and county councils.

No. There will be a number of the gate for them to call on arrival. If the site is full they will be offered an alternative site.

Poor behaviour could result in being refused access to the other sites.

Up to 12 weeks.

One Month.

Yes. The exact figure is yet to be set but others charge up to £40 per week.

It is used to pay for the facilities hired and the upkeep of the site.

Gypsies and Travellers would sign an agreement prior to moving on to the site. If they breach the agreement, we would take legal action.

Yes. Anyone wanting to use a site will need to sign an agreement covering this on arrival.

Poor behaviour could result in being refused access to other sites.

Yes, only domestic animals though, which does not include horses.

Police have a general duty to preserve the peace and prevent offences to the person and property, but trespass on land alone is not a criminal offence. The prevention of trespass is the responsibility of the landowner and occupier, not the police, and although they have powers to act in specifically legislated circumstances, civil remedies and local authority powers should be used in the first instance, unless there is evidence of a criminal offence.

Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 provides a power for police to direct trespassers to leave land in certain circumstances. These circumstances could include the behaviour of the trespassers, if criminal damage was caused upon entry, or other aggravating factors such as the volume of travellers causing a significant community impact.

The policy of Suffolk Police, as with the rest of the police service in England and Wales, is that civil remedies and local authority powers are the preferred option for dealing with traveller encampments. 

You can suggest a site in a number of ways:

Complete an online form (this will open in a new tab).

Or download the form at and email it to or post it to

Suffolk County Council
Section: Business Development

Alternatively, you can call 0345 603 1842.


Anyone an suggest a piece of land, but a site will only be considered for a short stay stopping site with the landowners' permission.

Each site submitted will be assessed against a range of criteria by the Suffolk Planning Officers Group, which is made up of representatives from the borough, district and county councils.

5pm on Monday 16 November 2015.