Cash to create North East traveller pitches

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Dozens of pitches for travellers will be set up and dozens more improved across north-east England thanks to nearly £6m of government funding.

Communities Minister Andrew Stunell said £5.6m would be spent on creating 36 new pitches and 72 improved pitches in County Durham and Teesside.

A further £311,000 will be spent on 11 new pitches in Northumberland.

The minister said there would also be a crackdown on the use of unauthorised sites in the region.

Under the Localism Act, the government is bringing in stronger powers for councils to tackle retrospective planning permission being abused for unauthorised development.

Mr Stunell said: "This funding will help provide sites in a way that reflects local need in consultation with the local community.

"It will assist hundreds of traveller families find sites where they want to live and foster better relations with the existing communities and councils."

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