Fylde Council bid to obtain special bollards to stop travellers on fields in St Annes

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Action is being proposed for two open spaces in St Annes to prevent travellers from accessing the land without permission.

Blackpool Road North Playing Fields and King George V Playing Fields off Heeley Road have previously been used by large groups of travellers with caravans.

Travellers previously at the Blackpool Road playing fields

Travellers previously at the Blackpool Road playing fields

Now Fylde Council is preparing a £15,000 bid to obtain special bollards to prevent them entering the land in the first place.

The council has already experienced problems this year when it had to take court action to remove 15 men, 12 women and their 22 children from the YMCA playing fields site in nearby Lytham.

Councillors on the tourism and leisure committee will meet tomorrow to discuss the capital funds bid to pay for the bollards for both green spaces in St Annes.

READ MORE>>> Council wins bid to evict travellers from playing field

A report to the committee stated: “In recent years the council has experienced issues with travellers accessing various open spaces throughout the borough.

“Once travellers have accessed a site they tend to reside until a formal eviction notice for eviction is enforced.

“This process can take a few days and can cause concerns from local residents.

“Historically three sites in St. Annes have been the focus of recent encampments by the travelling community – Frobisher Drive open space, Blackpool Road North Playing Fields and King George V Playing Fields (Heeley Road).

“Early in 2018, timber bollards were installed at Frobisher Drive along the perimeter to stop vehicular access. Metal drop down, lockable bollards were installed to allow access to maintenance vehicles when required.

“This approach has proved to be successful in restricting access to the open space by travellers and other unauthorised vehicles.”

Ward councillors in St Annes have requested that the same approach is undertaken at Blackpool Road North Playing Fields and King George V Playing Fields. The 90 timber perimeter bollards proposed for Blackpool Road would cost £4,140, while the bill for 180 bollards for King George’s would be £8,280.

Additional costs would include £1,050 each for the two drop-down metal lockable bollards at each site.