Denbighshire will need to provide 16 new traveller pitches for homes in the next five years, says a report revising the county’s accommodation needs.
According to the revised gypsy and traveller accommodation assessment, Denbighshire will need 16 new pitches between now and 2027/28 and a further two by 2033.
The report claims a new ‘transient site’ is not yet needed as the number of unauthorised camps in Denbighshire are low and short-lived – with many of such travellers passing through for work purposes or journeying along the A55 to and from Ireland.
The report said there were two unauthorised gypsy/traveller sites with a total number of seven pitches – with one site having six of these.
The study found there were no travelling show people in need of accommodation, but the report said the council would monitor this.
A 2021 census revealed there are at least 23 gypsy or Irish traveller households in Denbighshire and a further 14 households who identified as Roma, but the council said numbers are likely higher due to a low response rate.
Welsh data reveals just under half of gypsy or Irish traveller households had dependent children (45%), and that the median age of gypsies or Irish travellers was 26 years compared to the national median of 39 years for the whole population.
Just 6% of the gypsy or Irish traveller population were aged 65 years and over compared to a national figure of 16% for the general population.
Gypsies or Irish travellers below 20 years of age accounted for 39% of the population compared to the national figure of 24% as a whole, and those below 10 years of age accounted for 20% of the population compared to the national figure of 12%.
The report stated that gypsies or Irish travellers had the lowest proportion of people rating their health as good or very good at 70% compared to a national figure of 81%.
The report showed there is a higher proportion of gypsy or Irish traveller children and younger adults and significantly lower proportions of those aged 50 and over, due to higher birth rates and lower life expectancy.
Denbighshire has also recently employed a gypsy, Roma, and traveller liaison officer as part of a more co-ordinated process for the management of unauthorised encampments, carrying out welfare checks and providing bins and toilets.
The role is also intended to build better relations between the council and the travelling community.
The study covers the needs of gypsies, Romany gypsies, Irish travellers, new-age travellers, and travelling show people.
The council is obliged to carry out a revision of its traveller accommodation as part of its local development plan in line with Welsh Government legislation.
Denbighshire’s cabinet will discuss the report today (Tuesday) at its Ruthin County Hall HQ.