Gypsy and traveller plot fees to increase in Sheffield

The cost of a plot on a gypsy and traveller site in Sheffield is going up.

Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 10:32 am

The Long Acre site, which is 14 plots in Halfway, and the 17 plot Redmires site at Lodge Moor are owned by Sheffield Council.

Each weekly pitch fee is increasing by £4.74 to £101.55 per week. The council says the 4.9 per cent increase is in line with inflation and comparable to the rise in charges for other council services.

The pitch fees contribute to the services and amenities provided on the sites by the council, including day-to-day management, drainage clearance and green work as the roads within the sites are unadopted.

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The cost of a plot on gypsy and traveller sites in Sheffield is increasing

The fees also go towards a dedicated service, electric hook-up points and connection to electricity and water supplies.

Facilities include bathrooms and/or showers, a toilet, a kitchen sink, space for kitchen equipment and heating. There’s also a day room where residents can sit and eat.

Fees pay for essential repairs

Council manager Jonathan South said officers had been discussing the price of plots with the communities for several years.

“There is a risk that any resident might not agree to the increase, which would lead to delays in implementing the increase.

“Site staff will hand deliver letters giving notice of the increased fee and will discuss any concerns with residents and assist any tenants who may have literacy issues. Residents must sign to say they have understood the letter.

“Employment rates for gypsy and travellers nationally are low and poverty is high. The proposed pitch fee increase will be met by Housing Benefit or Universal Credit for residents who are eligible.

“The increase in charges will increase income by around £7,647. It will allow income to keep pace with the cost of inflation and help complete essential repairs and maintenance on both sites while remaining affordable to those residents in receipt of welfare benefits.”

The council says it has started improving or replacing the ageing kitchen and bathing facilities in the dayrooms over a staggered period. The overall gypsy and traveller site budget will be £237,399 this coming financial year.