Angry backlash in traveller row

Travellers living on the Hardhorn site off Fairfield Road in Singleton have been granted official permission to live there
Travellers living on the Hardhorn site off Fairfield Road in Singleton have been granted official permission to live there

The decision to allow travellers to remain on a plot of public land in the Fylde countryside has sparked controversy among residents.

Travellers on a field off Fairfield Road, Hardhorn, are no longer living under threat of eviction after being granted permission to stay there by the government’s planning inspectorate – despite being warned by Fylde Council two years ago to be ‘under no illusion’ that they would be allowed to stay.

Now people in Hardhorn and its surrounding area have spoken out in anger over the decision.

A spokesman for the group ‘Residents against inappropriate development in Hardhorn, Singleton, Staining & Poulton’ said: “We are bewildered, very disappointed, frustrated and dismayed by the decision to grant planning permission.

“How can you live for six years illegally paying no council tax? What message does this send out?

“Taxpayers’ money has been used to fight the tax payer.

“This site is in open countryside and has caused visual harm to this area, it has unsafe vehicular access and this application was done with no thought. Why do we have to live with all of this? We feel let down by the system and our Government.

“The use of the track prior to November 2009 was only for occasional use. Now there are 20 caravans, with the likelihood of 30-40 cars, vans, and trucks quite often towing something.

“The junction is not fit for the amount of traffic movements.

“If you can obtain planning in open countryside with an access by a farm track which does not meet the highways standards then goodness help our future decisions for planning applications.

“Human excrement has also been found on many occasions in the surrounding area which has been witnessed by the authorities, which is not pleasant for residents, livestock and the farmers.

“We will never give up on returning this site to a green field and make our roads safe. We will complain to the Inspectorate, take it to Parliament and if necessary to the High Court to put this right.”