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Finding a Gypsy Traveller site

You can park your home on sites that are:

  • provided by the council

  • privately owned and licenced

If a site is not licenced, you may not have the right to stay there. If you cannot find anywhere to stay, the council usually has to help you.

You should not be discriminated against when trying to find a site. Check our guidance on how to deal with housing discrimination.

Parking on a council site

To find somewhere to park your home, search on for council sites.

If you’re not sure what council area you’re in, find your local council on GOV.UK.

Usually you’ll need to apply to get a pitch on a council site. Ask your local council how long you might wait, and for their allocation policy. This policy tells you what criteria the council use to decide who gets a pitch.

Once you get a pitch, you can stay there as long as you need.

Your rights and responsibilities on a council site

On a council site you should get an occupancy agreement to sign. Your rights are written in this agreement. It should tell you:

  • the site rules

  • the contact details for the site manager

  • the site manager’s responsibilities

  • who does repairs to the site

You’ll usually have to pay council tax. Check our guidance to see if you can get a council tax reduction or discount.

If you want to leave a council site temporarily

If you leave a site while you’re travelling, some councils may keep the pitch for you. You must tell them if you'll be away from your pitch for more than 4 consecutive weeks.

Before you leave, check how long the council will keep your pitch. Ask the site manager or check your occupancy agreement.

If you’re unhappy with the council or the facilities on site

Contact the site manager and explain what you're unhappy about.

Alternatively, contact the council’s Gypsy Traveller liaison officer and explain your concerns. Search on for the council's liaison officer.

If that doesn’t fix things, make an official complaint. Follow our guidance on how to complain to the council.

Parking on a private site

Check if the site is licenced

This is sometimes called a protected site. This means it has planning permission and a licence from the council. Before agreeing to rent a pitch, ask the site owner:

  • for a copy of the site licence

  • if the site is licenced for residential use

  • what safety precautions they have, like if there’s a fire

  • if the site is regulated by organisations like the British Holiday & Home Parks Association

Check if the person renting you the pitch owns the site. If they are leasing it from someone else, and their lease ends, you’ll probably have to leave.

Holiday sites are usually not licenced for residential use. This means you cannot stay there all year round.

Your rights on a licenced site

Check your rights if you:

You’ll usually pay council tax if you live on a site for residential use, but not on a holiday site.

Check our guidance to see if you can get a council tax reduction or discount.

If the site is not licenced

This is sometimes called an unprotected site.

It's risky to stay on an unprotected site permanently. You'll have limited rights, and you can be evicted easily.

If you own your own land

You can set up a site on land you own. You’ll need to get planning permission and a site licence from the council.

Find your local council’s planning authority on

Parking on an unauthorised site

Unauthorised sites do not have planning permission or a licence from the council. Often they are:

  • unused wasteland

  • land by a roadside

  • on a loch shore or sea shore

If you park on land owned by the council without their permission

In some cases, you might be able to stay there temporarily. This could be when:

  • you're waiting for a pitch to become free on a council site

  • there are no private licenced sites available

  • you only want to park up briefly

The council might let you stay as long as:

  • it’s safe

  • the land is not needed for anything else

  • you do not cause any damage or disruption

Contact the Gypsy Traveller liaison officer at the council. They’ll say if you can stay on the land or help you find a licenced site.

If you park on private land without permission

This could be trespassing and the owner can tell you to leave. If you do not, they can ask the council to make you leave.

If you need help paying rent and pitch fees

You could get Universal Credit or Housing Benefit to help pay your rent and pitch fees.

To check if you can get benefits, use the Turn2Us benefits calculator.

If you have nowhere to stay

You may be classed as homeless if you cannot find anywhere to park your home. You do not have to be living on the streets to be homeless.

Ask the council for a homeless application if you have nowhere suitable to live.

They must give you temporary accommodation if you need it. This can be a council pitch. If there are no available pitches, they can offer you brick and mortar housing.

We have guidance on how the council must help you if you’re homeless.

If you're not a British or Irish citizen, your immigration status can affect whether you can get homeless help. Check our guidance on how your immigration status affects your housing options.

If you want to live in brick and mortar housing

We have guidance on:

Last updated: 19 January 2023

Housing laws differ between Scotland and England.

This content applies to Scotland only.

Get advice if you're in England