Somerset Gypsy and Traveller Community Land Trust

For centuries the commons of England provided lawful stopping places for people whose way of life had become nomadic. Enough common land had survived the centuries of enclosure to make this way of life still sustainable, by section 23 of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act local authorities were given power to close the commons to Travellers. This they proceeded to do with great energy, but made no use of the concomitant power given to then by section 24 of the same act to open caravan sites to compensate for the closure of the commons, the outcome of which has resulted in a crisis of accommodation for Nomadic People

see evidence here in Traditional Site Loss with further information on this theme at

In recent years, there has been a revival of the principles of community Land ownership supported by legislation and clear policy framework 

The potential of CLT's and Co-ops to transfer and empower communities is enormous, as development can encompass sustainable livelihoods, new skill and businesses, alongside improved access to good quality, affordable and secure accommodation. In their modern form CLT's have clear and defined objectives see SGTCLT model rules  They exist to sustain community ownership, lock in land value and support community based accommodation and enterprise

Somerset gypsy and Traveller Community Land Trust will hold the Land and lease it to a Travellers Cooperatives to occupy and manage their own sites within the terms of the 1983 Mobile Homes Act and following Cooperative principles.

The Trust has an 'asset lock' which legally prevents land being sold on for profit, by removing the land from the market, accommodation upon it becomes affordable to those who never have had a history of property ownership

The trust will assist Travellers to set up their own cooperatives to manage the sites on a long lease. Tenancy agreements conforming to the Mobile Homes Act will offer Travellers security of tenure and the ability to assign their tenancy agreement to other prospective cooperative members should they wish to move on

Cooperative development is a key principle of the Community Land Trusts work, through this Travellers can incorporate trusted friends and fannies into an institution for sustainable development of the community of which they are part. Run on democratic principles the coops can build and manage their own sites, and once they have met the cost of the lease, adjust their rental income to finance economic, environmental and social development projects.

for further information email

see our Annual Report 2013 and accounts 

Subpages (1): CLT rules