Brighton & Hove is mainly visited by Irish Travellers, English Gypsies and New Travellers. Nomadic life is not illegal, and Travellers have a basic right to this way of life.  The council recognises that this has to be balanced with the rights of the general public to enjoy private and public land.

Our frequently asked questions page sets out how the council, and other official agencies, work to try to balance the rights of all those involved.

Service update - Thursday 2 July 2015

Land at the mast, Manor Hill - Unauthorised encampment of van dwellers;

39 Acres - Unauthorised encampment of van dwellers - We have visited both of these sites with the police, to carry out health and welfare checks and to conduct community impact assessments. The groups have been informed they are trespassing on council-owned land and have been asked to leave. We will be applying to the County Court for Possession Orders in relation to these pieces of land. Once obtained this will allow us to arrange for evictions to take place.

Black Rock  - The encampment has now vacated this site, following an eviction that took place this morning. We have arranged for our contractor to attend the site and clear it of any rubbish and detritus.

Plans for a permanent Traveller site at Horsdean

We have identified a need for residential accommodation for Gypsies and Travellers in the city and, in line with our policy for managing unauthorised encampments, we want to build a permanent Gypsy and Traveller site with good facilities.

The council made a planning application to South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) for a permanent Traveller site in Brighton & Hove at Horsdean. The application was made after an extensive selection process. A survey was carried out at 50 locations under terms jointly agreed by officers from Brighton & Hove City Council and the South Downs National Park Authority.

The South Downs National Park Authority’s planning committee has approved the planning application for the permanent traveller site

12 new pitches will now be built at Horsdean next to an existing site with 21 existing transit spaces.

A £1.7 million government grant to develop a permanent Traveller site is expected to cover the cost of the development. Travellers living on the site will pay rent and council tax.

Find out more about our plans for a permanent Traveller site.

Applications for Pitches at the New Permanent Traveller Site at Horsdean

Applications are now being taken for permanent pitches at the new Traveller site at Horsdean, which should be open by the end of 2015.  Application forms can be obtained from the Traveller Liaison Team in Bartholomew House, Bartholomew Square, Brighton BN1 1JP.  If you would like an application form, please contact the Team on 01273 292044 to arrange to pick one up, or email The Team will also be able to help you complete the form if required.  The closing date for applications was Monday 16th February 2015.

Brighton & Hove Traveller Strategy

Our Traveller Strategy sets out how the council balances the needs of traveller communities with those of the city’s settled communities.

View or download our Brighton & Hove One Year On: the Traveller Commissioning Strategy in Action 2012/13 [PDF 414kb]

The Horsdean Traveller site is one of the few transit sites for Travellers in the country. The council takes action against unauthorised sites in line with our Traveller strategy.

Traveller Liaison service

Brighton & Hove City Council and the police have been working in partnership to manage unauthorised Traveller encampments within the city, and minimise conflict and nuisance. This partnership approach has been in place since 2001.

Find out more about how the Traveller Liaison Team work to manage unauthorised encampments within the city.

Traveller Liaison services include:

  • liaison with the settled community
  • provision of advice and support to landowners and the public
  • management of the Horsdean Traveller Site
  • support in helping Travellers access services such as health and education

The Traveller Liaison Service has teachers and home or school support staff who can help with attendance issues and supporting Gypsy or Traveller children whilst they are in schools.

To contact the Traveller Liaison Team, please phone (01273) 292044 or email

More information

Communities and Local Government

Information about what the Government is doing to increase the provision for Travellers and Gypsies, and tackle unauthorised sites.

Find out details about Communities and Local Government

Friends, Families and Travellers

A national charity that works on behalf of all Travellers and Gypsies, based in Brighton.

Find out details about Friends, families and Travellers

The Gypsy Council

Find out details about the Gypsy Council

Traveller Times

Traveller Times online brings you the latest news, pictures, video, opinion and resources from within the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities.

Find out details about Traveller Times

Traveller Strategy - One Year On.pdf413.57 KB