Big revolt over travellers site

The site at Builders Yard Land, off Thames Street, has been recommended for approval. Below: Coun Heather Speak.
The site at Builders Yard Land, off Thames Street, has been recommended for approval. Below: Coun Heather Speak.

Residents protesting against a planned travellers’ site have stepped up their campaign against the proposal.

Members of Newton Residents Association have spent £20,000 to get independent research carried out and have written almost 300 letters of objection to Fylde Council.

Coun Heather Speak

Coun Heather Speak

The plan has been recommended for approval to the council’s development management committee, which will hold a special meeting in Kirkham on Wednesday to discuss the plans.

One of the village’s representatives on Fylde Council says he is “stunned” that planning officers have recommended the site, at Builders Yard Land, off Thames Street, for approval.

Coun Heather Speak said: “The recommendation came as a surprise and I’ve had quite a lot of phone calls about it.

“I’ve been speaking to people who are really upset and I think there probably will be a lot of people who come to the planning meeting on Wednesday.

“My main concern is highways, the environment and the traffic.

“Thames Street is well used by dog walkers, children and horse riders.

“I don’t think it’s a suitable site for travellers.”

The proposal would see caravans placed on the site for four traveller families, along with an amenity block, sewage treatment plan, and the erection of a boundary fence.

Derrick Ingram, chairman of Newton Residents Association, said: “We’ve got a list as long as your arm in terms of objections.

“If you consider other similar sites, they’re not in the middle of villages.

“Access is particularly poor and you’ve got to go through the village to gain access to the site.”

The group has also raised £20,000 in order to have research carried out by independent experts on the suitability of the site.

The reports have now been presented to the council.

Coun Speak added: “I really feel for the people who are involved.

“They’ve worked so hard to raise all the money and get professional advice.

“People are stunned and we’re still not sure why it’s been recommended for approval.”

Neither the applicant nor the agent were available for comment.

The meeting to decide whether the plan will get the green light will take place at Kirkham Community Centre from 2.30pm on Wednesday.

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