Lewisham Council proposing to purchase Catford land for the traveller community

Click below for more details over on SE6.life:


Aren’t councils supposed to provide land for travelers so it make sense to me that they have to pay for the land if no e is available

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That’s really interesting. I had no idea.

Is that the same thing as Lewisham is doing now?

Councils are only being asked to identify land that Travellers would have a chance of buying. They are not being asked to give the land to Travellers.

It looks as if most of the current guidance was established by DCLG between 2012-15.

Lewisham Council:

No mention of the travellers funding the purchase.

Also something I find troubling:

I know. Which is why I was wondering the relevancy of the 2005 policy set by Prescott. It appears to be a different policy then that which is now used.

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Thanks for the info - do you have a link that summarises the current law?

After Insight’s insight I googled these… only skimmed the surface myself.


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Actually there’s a good Commons paper which outlines the legislative changes since 2004. Can’t copy the address for some reason but Google

House of Commons Briefing Paper: Gypsies and Travellers: Planning Provisions

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Got it, ta:


Haven’t yet found any detail on a council’s obligation to use public money to fund land purchases

This might be helpful.

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Looks like there is a pool of central funding that’s available - although incredible that it would be used to purchase expensive land in inner London?

Makes sense to me - travellers need places to live too.

It’s only for six sites, so is hardly another Dale Farm.

I’m also very sceptical about placing any weight on these so-called nature “conservation areas” in Lewisham - they mostly just look like a pile of old scrub which are replicated the length and breadth of the country. Incidentally, I note this piece of land is already being used as a “scaffolding yard” and is inaccessible to the general public - hardly a beauty spot worth fighting for, and I’m sure it looks a right state. Surely it is better to turn these pieces of useless scrub in, as you say, “expensive inner London”, into badly needed housing sites.


Most of the past and proposed sites (Thurston Road and Catford Greyhound stadium etc) have been turned into large housing developments. There is little spare land in Lewisham for a designated site, but it is every council’s duty to provide appropriate space. The alternative is that Perry Vale car park or Girton Road car park (or local parks) get used illegally and without any of the appropriate utilities available (not much is required, but it makes a big difference for the Travellers and for local residents).

But the council has made plenty of money from property development from other sites, so they should find a suitable site that can be used. If you don’t want them buying a site that they half own already, then you should be prepared for the council to use Perry Vale car park to meet their legal obligation, as has been previously proposed.


What’s wrong with the Crystal Palace caravan park. All the amenities already there and not that much per day.

Pretty sure that’s in Bromley, not Lewisham :wink:

A post was split to a new topic: “What on earth is Lewisham spending all that extra money on?”

It may well be but it’s pretty close and a heck of a lot cheaper.

I might be wrong, but I think that site is owned and operated by the Caravan Club so they may have something to say about the matter. As for price, cost is about £40-50 per day so might not be as cost effective as you think. I’ve always thought the site got a lot of leisure business so there might not be as much rooms as you think. Maybe good for a short term solution to meet demand but not the best long term solution.