Travellers ‘will be moved’

Travellers site at Fairfield rd, Hardhorn.
Travellers site at Fairfield rd, Hardhorn.
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A group of travellers who have fought a long-running battle to remain on land near Poulton were today told to be “under no illusion” they will be moved on.

Councillors in Fylde have voted to remove the families from the illegal caravan site in a behind-closed-doors meeting.

However, Fylde Council says it has no immediate plans to use force in order to get them to move off the land at Fairfield Road, Hardhorn.

A meeting of the authority’s development management committee, which was closed to the public, saw its members discuss the issue of the site.

It is the latest chapter in the long-running saga, which has been ongoing since families first moved on to the site almost five years ago.

Speaking after the meeting, held at St Annes Town Hall, a Fylde council spokesman said: “Councillors have agreed to take direct action to clear the site.

“We have to allow time for the travellers to consider the enforcement direction we made. If there is no judicial review, which they may seek, then we’ll work locally to reach, in agreement with the travellers, a clearance of the site.

“At this stage no plans are in place to clear the site by force, although we do now have the legal right to use force as a last resort.

“The travellers should be under no illusion they now have to go and we urge them to go quietly and quickly.”

Four families have lived in caravans on the site since 
November 2009.

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

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

The minutes of the Fylde meeting state: “Members of the committee expressed the opinion the decision was a difficult one given the likelihood of a roadside existence if the travellers were moved off the site, its effect on children living on the site and on those site residents with health issues.

“However, they had regard to the environmental harm that continued to be caused by the presence of the site, and the uncertainty and stress for the residents of Hardhorn Village.”

The travellers will have until July 21 to consider the enforcement notice which was issued as a result of the meeting.