Bartrip Street is in the Plan for Hackney Travellers

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To Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Transport for London (TfL) is holding onto land that is designated as a Gypsy and Travellers site. This is the first new site to come forward since Councils were told to provide sites in the 2011 London Plan and the 2012 National Policy for Gypsy and Travellers. The last new permanent site in London was made in 2002, 17 years ago! Yet in the last 17 years three other permanent sites were closed down.

This site in Hackney Wick known as Bartrip Street South was first identified as a site suitable for Travellers five years ago, in 2014. It was identified in the London Legacy Development Corporation Local Plan. Hackney Council and the GLA also supported the use of this land as a social rented Travellers' site. It could provide nine desperately needed pitches for families who have been on the waiting list for 25 years and more.

But for the last five years TfL has been preventing the development of this site. TfL wanted to keep the site and make a profit from the construction of bricks and mortar housing on it. Hackney Council and the GLA should have been working hard to force TfL to hand over the land. But they haven’t done enough.

LLDC has set aside £2m to fund the development of the site for Gypsies and Travellers. Hackney Council must make a “detailed bid” for this money by 17th June 2020. But the main challenge remains that TfL needs to release the land first. Time is running out- there are only a few months left to make the bid.

Traveller families have been waiting too long to see this site built and to be part of the community. Mayor Sadiq Khan should put pressure on TfL to hand over this land now.