Those concerned with travellers' sites, in whatever context, have received a mixed bag of news this month.
On one hand, we have seen confirmation that the provision of new sites is to be encouraged via the application of the proposed New Homes Bonus to authorised traveller sites (although I would question how much of an incentive that will really be for local communities), and those travellers who abide by the terms of their pitch agreements will benefit from greater rights and face greater protection against eviction.
On the other hand, regional targets for the provision of pitches have been abolished meaning that local communities can set their own targets and there is talk of planning authorities being given further powers to enforce against unauthorised travellers' sites.
While providing some comfort to established travellers who abide by the rules, those travellers who are looking for a site on which to stop (and I have read that one in four who live in caravans do not have a legal place in which to park) may feel less optimistic.
These announcements may also offer some hope to those who want to see an end to sites having to be built on valuable open countryside in order to meet regional targets, or those who have struggled to take satisfactory enforcement action against travellers who abuse the planning system.
Further details will follow in the Localism Bill.