TRAVELLERS have claimed they “are doing their best to be good neighbours” ahead of their appeal to remain on land in a Fylde village.
Around 70 travellers set up camp at Fairfield Road, Staining, despite Fylde Council refusing planning permission.
Local residents have set up a group opposing the travellers’ presence on the site, but ahead of their appeal next month one said living on the site “had not been easy for (them) either.”
In a report ahead of the inquiry, Elizabeth Collins, who has written to the authority on behalf of all the travellers on the site, said in a letter: “We accept there have been problems with our occupation of the site for which we apologise and we are doing out best to be good neighbours but it has not been easy for us either.
“It is not until you settle down you realise how much you are despised and hated. Nails were thrown on the road outside our site. Some do not want to serve us in their shops.
“But many have made us most welcome for which we are most grateful.”
The public inquiry, to be held in St Annes, will look at both Fylde Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for 15 pitches and an enforcement notice issued which requires the travellers to leave the site and return it to its original condition.
Local resident Sheryl Hudders, who lives in Hardhorn, will give evidence and tell how lives of local residents have been “turned upside down” since the arrival of the travellers.
She said: “The impact of the travellers’ development has been extremely disruptive to all the village and the travellers do not appear to want to be good neighbour.”
Dozens of people will give evidence over five days, from 10am on Tuesday, February 8 in the United Reform Church, St George’s Road, St Annes.