MORE traveller caravans are pitching up on unauthorised sites in Reading than a decade ago, figures reveal.

Councils carry out a count of caravans on traveller sites twice a year to provide a snapshot of the numbers in permitted and unpermitted spots.

It includes those lived in by Gypsies and Travellers, as well as non-traditional groups who live in moveable homes.

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Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government data shows that 16 traveller caravans were on sites without planning permission in Reading in July, up from six counted in July 2009.

The total number of caravans in the area also rose over the period, from six to 16.

This means that all were in unauthorised locations this year.

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All the dwellings on unpermitted land were not tolerated, meaning active efforts were being made to move them on.

The trend in Reading bucked that across England, where 3,082 caravans were on unauthorised sites – 17 per cent fewer than a decade previously.

This was despite the total number of dwellings increasing by a third, to around 23,000, meaning the vast majority had planning permission.