Land adjacent to Pendell Camp, Merstham Road – Proposed Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Transit Site

Closes 8 Oct 2021

Opened 17 Sep 2021

Overview

Overview

Thank you for taking the time to complete this questionnaire as part of the pre-application consultation for a proposed 10-pitch transit site on land immediately to the south of the permanent Gypsy and Traveller site at Pendell Camp, on Merstham Road. 

Background to the proposal

Surrey County Council, in combination with Surrey’s District and Borough Councils, are planning to provide transit sites for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers (GRT).  Transit sites provide temporary refuge for GRT families.  There is not currently any transit provision for GRT anywhere in the County.

Nationally, there has been a lack of provision for GRT communities to stop since the statutory duty for local authorities to provide accommodation ended in 1994. Since then there has been increased homelessness and declining life expectancies in GRT groups, reflecting a range of complex factors and inequalities experienced.  These inequalities relate to: levels of education attainment, attendance and exclusion; a lack of employment opportunities; poor health issues; criminal justice, including over-representation in both the youth justice system and prison estate; hate crime/ incidents; and domestic abuse/ a lack of safe accommodation.

In this context, the emerging proposal for Merstham Road will deliver Surrey’s first transit site.  The proposal is being brought forward via a coordinated approach between the County, Districts and Borough Councils and Surrey Police.  The coordinated vision of all these bodies is not only to meet policy and statutory obligations, but also to address inequalities and support community cohesion within and between GRT groups, local residents and businesses across the County. The provision of this transit site will also significantly enhance Surrey Police’s ability to deal with unauthorised encampments. Evidence from other councils shows that their frequency can be significantly reduced through the availability of transit sites.

Land at Merstham Road has been identified as a potentially suitable location for a transit site, following an extensive County-wide assessment of potential locations, leading to a more detailed site search within Tandridge District.  

The proposal

The site is proposed to share the existing Pendell Camp access, sitting adjacent to the long-established permanent camp and providing 10 pitches for visiting GRT to use on a short-term basis (with a maximum stay of 4 weeks). The site will provide amenity blocks, space for the siting of touring caravans and parking vehicles, amenity open space and enhanced landscaping, together with a management building. Security fencing and CCTV will be installed, as integral elements of the site’s overall, and day-to-day management strategy.   

A design team is currently developing the proposed layout for the site, which on submitting the planning application will be supported by a range of technical surveys and reports, including a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment, a Planning Statement, a Noise Report and an Ecological Assessment, among others.

Initial design information about the proposal is provided by clicking here.

Give us your views

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • All Surrey residents

Interests

  • Highways