Special meeting called after traveller application

Thames Street, Newton with Clifton
Thames Street, Newton with Clifton
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Fylde Council is to hold a special public meeting in Kirkham after it was revealed plans have been submitted to build a camp near the town.

Due to public demand, the council’s development management committee is to meet at Kirkham’s Community Centre on Wednesday, December 18, to discuss the plans for the site off Thames Lane in Newton with Clifton.

Isaac McDonough has applied to the authority to turn a former builder’s yard into a residential caravan site for four traveller families, each with two caravans, as well as the building of an amenity block and boundary fence.

But residents have reacted angrily to the plans, with more than 100 responses objecting to the application, following 185 for a similar scheme proposed last year.

A spokesman for Newton Residents Association said the site was “inappropriate” and revealed more than half of village residents were against the plans.

He added: “We were surprised and dismayed to learn that Fylde Council planning is recommending approval of this proposal.

“The number of national and local planning policies not met by this application, or taken into account by Fylde Council planning officers, are numerous.

“The land is contaminated through historic landfill activities and this has been confirmed by the applicants own survey. A further more detailed survey and remedial action plan has been mandated by the Environment Agency.

“Road safety issues have been reported on by expert consultants who stated that the application was not sustainable. Further road safety modelling was requested from the applicant by Lancashire County Councils Highways – this has not been done.

“There are sewage and drainage issues that could potentially affect the health of residents. There has been no satisfactory plan to out-flow into local open dykes, that flood in winter and dry out in the summer. Existing sewers are already acknowledged by United Utilities as overloaded. We would encourage as many people as possible to attend the meeting.”

Newton Coun Heather Speak said: “Since the meeting was announced my phone has not stopped – people are generally shocked and surprised at the officer’s recommendation. Anyone wishing to come down and speak can do so for three minutes and needs to contact the council to ask to do so.

“I have spoken to four people already and they just cannot understand how Fylde planning can recommend approval. People generally thought it would not get the support it has being in the area it is with flooding risks.

“There is to be a big debate and I would just ask people to remain calm.”

Fellow Coun Peter Collins added: “It is a shame this has been brought about at such short notice but we have a good venue for people to air their views – there is a clear strength of feeling on this.”

The meeting is due at the Mill Street community centre on Wednesday, at 2.30pm.