TOUGH new powers to tackle illegal traveller sites are being considered by ministers to help address concerns over antisocial behaviour, in a move welcomed by one councillor.

Housing minister Dominic Raab announced on Thursday last week there would be a review into the laws dealing with the number of unauthorised caravan sites and developments around the country.

Since 2010, the number of traveller caravans on authorised sites has increased. However latest figures show approximately 16 per cent of all caravans – around 3,700 – are on unauthorised sites.

This review has been welcomed by Sherborne St John ward councillor Tristan Robinson who said in the past residents have felt “under siege” by unauthorised encampments.

Cllr Robinson said: “It’s great to see the government taking action over illegal encampments. In our rural villages like Sherborne St John, Bramley and Silchester, local residents feel under siege from unauthorised encampments and authorities lack the powers to adequately deal with the issue.

“Unauthorised encampments often lead to noise disturbance and fly-tipping, before locals foot the bill for clearing up.

“While there are legal sites being provided just a few miles away in Berkshire, people in Basingstoke and Deane should not be adversely affected. People want to know that the law applies to everyone equally.”

Mr Raab said the government is committed to taking action and is seeking views on what more can be done to ensure local authorities, the police and landowners can deal with unauthorised sites and developments efficiently.

He said: “We must promote a tolerant society and make sure there are legal sites available for travellers, but equally the rule of law must be applied to everyone.”

The consultation looking at the laws will examine what additional powers local authorities, the police and landowners could be given to deal with unauthorised sites, as well as establishing whether any barriers exist to establishing new authorised ones.

For more information on the proposed review, go to