Gypsies and Travellers
Gypsies and Travellers are a part of British life, and have been so for many centuries. They make up a very small minority within the wider population. Gypsies and Irish Travellers are recognised under the Human Rights Act as ethnic minorities against whom discrimination is unlawful. Public authorities, including Local Authorities and the Police, have a general duty to eliminate unlawful discrimination, encourage equality of opportunity and good race relations in carrying out their functions.
There is an established resident Traveller population settled within the Darlington community.
Authorised sites for Travellers in Darlington
The Council provides three caravan sites for Gypsies and Travellers. In addition there are eleven small private owner occupied sites.
Rowan West (formerly Neasham Road) caravan site, Levisham Lane DL2 1QZ was established in the 1970s with 20 pitches. The Council closed the site on 9 March 2016 to allow the demolition and then building of a new 22 pitch caravan site with £1,870,00 grant funding from the Homes and Community Agency.
Rowan East caravan site, Levisham Lane DL2 1QZ opened on 23 March 2015 and is leased to Triplegate Properties. There are 16 residential pitches provided with an individual amenity block and a hard standing for up to 2 touring caravans. There are also 4 residential pitches, without amenity blocks, that are serviced for chalet caravans.
Honeypot Lane caravan site Elmtree Street DL3 0YH was established in the 1970s and is leased to a family that is part of the local Romany Community. Refurbishment of the residential pitches was completed in 2005 with the aid of a grant from central Government. A second transit site was built in 2006 using a grant from the then office of the Deputy Prime Minister. There are now 32 residential pitches (23 with their own amenity blocks and 9 pitches for mobile chalet type caravans) as well as 24 transit pitches for travellers who can stay for up to eight weeks. All pitches are hard standings and capable of accommodating two caravans, with tow vehicles, to allow families to be together.
There are two communal toilet blocks, for the use of residents on the transit pitches. Each of these blocks includes showers and separate accessible shower/toilet room and a laundry room with automatic washing machines and tumble driers.