Red tape stalls evictions on caravan site

Travellers' site on Fairfield Road, Hardhorn.
Travellers' site on Fairfield Road, Hardhorn.
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Red tape has put a stop to travellers moving off land they have lived on without planning permission since 2009.

The lengthy process to remove travellers from the land off Fairfield Road, Hardhorn, had seen them lose a final appeal in the Supreme Court, but a legal wrangle means they will remain there for the coming months.

The Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the travellers’ appeal comes after the Court of Appeal’s decision to throw out their application to stay on the 2.4 hectare site in 2013.

Residents in the village have backed the legal battle to remove the travellers, and say they are prepared to wait a few months longer before seeing the travellers leave.

A spokesman for Residents Against Inappropriate Development in Hardhorn, Staining, Singleton and Poulton, said: “While it is frustrating the length of time involved, we will remain patient while the council produces the report to make a decision.

“The enforcement notice to remove all the caravans and restore the land is an order from the courts to the land owner who should now be complying with this.

“We would ask the travellers to do the right thing and comply with the notice and leave the land peacefully.

“They have to accept the decision.”

A spokesman for Fylde Council added: “The result of the case means the council can now decide what action to take in respect of the enforcement notice for the site to be cleared and restored to its previous condition.

“Officers of the council are working with residents, the travellers and other agencies to produce a report that covers all the issues involved.

“Councillors will consider the report at a meeting in May.”

Four families have lived in caravans on the site, on Fairfield Road, Hardhorn, since November 2009.

They applied for permission to stay on the land, but the Court of Appeal threw this out in 2013.

This was challenged in January at the Supreme Court in London, but the travellers were unsuccessful.

Fylde Council is working to compile documents concerning the case, and will put a report to 
councillors in May at the earliest.