Travellers get hour to leave

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TRAVELLERS who illegally set up camp on a Blackpool business park were given an hour to clear the area by police.

A group of caravans moved on to land at Whitehills close to the B&Q store on Monday night.

But officers arrived at the scene yesterday morning and told the group they had one hour to pack up and leave.

A mobile CCTV unit was left at the scene to ensure the travellers had left.

Leave

A Lancashire Police spokesman said, “We attended the site along with an enforcement officer and issued the travellers with a notice to leave.

“They informed us that they were heading to Yorkshire and they left without incident.”

One of the travellers who did not wish to be named said: “The police were very understanding with us.

“They knocked on the door and said we had to leave so we are going.

“They left the camera behind to make sure we go.

“I don’t know where we are going next.”

This week the Government announced a more streamlined planning policy for travellers sites which condenses 54 pages of guidance into just eight.

They say the aim of the new policy is to give power back to local authorities, protect green space and promote more private traveller sites.

Under the new policy, local councils are given more freedom to determine traveller site provision in their area and consult with local communities to ensure a fairer system.

Today Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard said: “By creating a level playing field for all and allowing law-abiding travellers the same prospects under the planning systems as non-travellers, we are clamping down hard on those who intentionally seek to abuse the system for their own ends.

“Local residents have waited a long time for this to occur.

“For too long illegal-travellers have appeared to have greater freedoms under the planning systems than all others.

“These changes will ensure our Green Belt will not be blighted by inappropriate and illegal traveller development and all applications will be considered, fairly, according to the planning policies laid down by a local council.”