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Gypsies, Roma, Travellers and Showpeople

There is a long established community of Gypsies, Roma, Travellers and Showpeople (GRTS) living across York, North Yorkshire & East Riding. Throughout the summer months a number of Travellers and Showpeople from other parts of the country also stay or stop off to visit relatives and/or work at village and market town fairs. Many groups also stop off on their way to other parts of the country as the A1 and A19 are key routes that connect to wider traveller networks. Led by a sub regional Steering Group with representatives from the County and District/Borough Councils, we work with resident and transient communities to improve communication and understanding with local housing and planning authorities across York, North Yorkshire & East Riding. We hope that by working together we will reduce conflict and misunderstanding and limit the times enforcement action is taken.

Research shows there is a close link between the lack of good quality sites for GRTS groups and poor physical and mental health, lower life expectancy and poorer education outcomes. A significant number of GRTS have no permanent base and are often moved around, sometimes against their will. Through our work we hope to address issues at a local level relating to:

  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Life expectancy
  • Educational achievement of children and young people
  • Literacy
  • Employment


The Gypsy & Traveller Partnership fits within the York, North Yorkshire & East Riding Strategic Housing Partnership structure and reports to the Chief Housing Officers Group. It consists of officers from Housing and Planning Departments representing Craven, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Selby District Councils and Harrogate Borough and Scarborough Borough Councils, North Yorkshire County Council, East Riding of Yorkshire and the City of York Councils. Other organisations also attend, including Horton Housing and the York Travellers Trust.


North Yorkshire County Council own seven authorised GTRS sites across the county, there sites are leased to managers who manage every aspect of these sites on their behalf. Ryedale District Council also own and manage a site and the City of York also own three permanent, authorised Traveller sites, providing a total of 61 individual pitches which are managed by the Council. East Riding of Yorkshire provide 3 sites providing 61 pitches. For more information, click here.

Support is also available via Home Improvement Agencies operating across the area, including in relation to works through Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs). Links to the Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) in North Yorkshire and their contact details can be found here

Planning Policy for GRTS Sites

The GRTS sub group are currently reviewing guidance available to GRTS communities and their representatives in relation to planning applications for new sites. We will share this on this site as soon as it is available. Current, national guidance from the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government can be found here

Caravan Count

A count of Gypsy and Traveller Caravans takes place twice a year (in January and July) and records the number of caravans on both authorised and unauthorised sites across England and is produced for the Department of Communities & Local Government.

Introduced in England in 1979, the count is intended to estimate the size of the GTRS population in order to ensure that adequate site provision is made. By choosing the months January and July the count gives an insight into the difference between summer and winter travelling patterns. The count findings can help to assess site availability (both permanent and transit), monitor Local Authority progress towards site provision and highlight issues relating to GTRS social inclusion along with access to other services. The live tables recording the count by each Local Authority can be found here.

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