New homes built to meet 'identified need' for traveller community

New pitches have been built for Gypsy, Romany and traveller families. Pictured inset is city councillor Mike Stonard

New pitches have been built for Gypsy, Romany and traveller families. Pictured inset is city councillor Mike Stonard - Credit: Broadland Housing Association

Improved facilities are being built to accommodate gypsy, romany and traveller families in the city. 

Broadland Housing is overseeing the development of 13 new larger pitches in the Swanton Road Travellers' Site next to the former Mile Cross recycling centre. 

These new pitches will be offered to existing families in Swanton Road to allow for the older site to be refurbished to what the council described as "modern standards". 

This refurbishment will take place to reduce the current 21 pitches to 18 in order to accommodate larger pitches and amenity blocks.

Inside one of the new blocks at the Swanton Road traveller site

Inside one of the new blocks at the Swanton Road traveller site - Credit: Broadland Housing Association

New pitches include parking for two caravans with full utility connections and a larger accommodation block - also known as day rooms - containing an entrance hall, living, kitchen and dining room, a bathroom and toilet.

It comes as a recent assessment was carried out across the Greater Norwich area showing there was a need for between 29 and 50 pitches between 2022 and 2038.

The new site for 13 pitches in Swanton Road will be extended by a further three if planning permission is granted for a new application.

The entrance to the travellers site next to the Mile Cross Recycling Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The entrance to the travellers site next to the Mile Cross Recycling Centre. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

City councillor Mike Stonard (Lab), cabinet member with responsibility for inclusive and sustainable growth, said: "The new pitches at Swanton Road will enable vital modernisation of the current facilities and provide further homes needed for the community.

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"These help to meet the identified need for accommodation for gypsy, romany and traveller families across Greater Norwich."

Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council cabinet member for sustainable development.

Mike Stonard, Norwich City Council cabinet member for sustainable development. - Credit: Steve Adams

Construction works are due to be completed soon with the first people anticipated to move in during July. 

The city council provided the land for the new homes and supported a bid to Homes England which part-funded the construction. 

Broadland Housing Association took over managing the Swanton Road traveller site in July 2021.

One of the new pitches for Gypsy, Romany and traveller families in Swanton Road 

One of the new pitches for gypsy, romany and traveller families in Swanton Road - Credit: Broadland Housing Association

Michael Newey, chief executive of Broadland Housing said: "The gypsy, roma and traveller communities all too often face discriminatory attitudes.

"Ultimately, one of the biggest issues behind this is the lack of authorised places to stay.

Michael Newey, chief executive of Broadland Housing,

Michael Newey, chief executive of Broadland Housing, addressing the AGM - Credit: Newman Associates

“I am very proud that Broadland Housing is providing a small part of the solution.

"We are working closely with the local travelling community to understand their housing needs and to provide modern, comfortable pitches and day rooms."