Travellers facing eviction in council caravan park row

Travellers site at Fairfield rd, Hardhorn
Travellers site at Fairfield rd, Hardhorn
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Time appears to be running out for a group of travellers fighting plans to evict them from a field where they have lived for more than five years.

Fylde Council’s development management committee meets next week to decide which course of action to take for the site on land off Fairfield Road, near Hardhorn, Poulton.

Relevant circumstances have not changed sufficiently to affect the balancing exercise that members carried out in reaching the 2014 decision.

Last year the council decided to issue the travellers with an enforcement notice to leave the land.

But following a year of legal wrangles the council is no further to removing the group – and will now meet to decide whether to enforce its 2014 decision.

Options open to the committee include doing nothing, extending the compliance time, to prosecute, get an injunction, engage further or direct action – which could mean forcibly removing the travellers.

Coun John Singleton, of Staining and Weeton ward, said: “The main residents affected are in Hardhorn themselves. There has been numerous complaints, such as fires being lit, shouting and anti-social behaviour.”

Since arriving in November 2009, the travellers have failed in a long-running series of bids to make their stay legal.

A retrospective planning application for the site in 2010 was refused by Fylde Council and upheld by a planning inspector in August 2011 after a public inquiry.

The travellers also appealed to the High Court in 2012, the Court of Appeal in 2013 and the Supreme Court in January 2014.But judges ruled in favour of the council each time.

And last month retrospective planning permission for the caravan park was thrown out.

Planning officer Ian Curtis said the committee should stick with its original decision.

He added: “Relevant circumstances have not changed sufficiently to affect the balancing exercise that members carried out in reaching the 2014 decision.”

The meeting will be held at Fylde Town Hall from 10am on July 15.