Mark welcomes new planning proposals for travellers sites

LAWS making it more difficult to create and win planning permission for illegally created travellers sites are set to be introduced by the Government.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies wrote to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP, following continual complaints from residents near the travellers site on Fairfield Road.

He pressed the Government on their plans to deal with sites such as the one on Fairfield Road and urged action.

In response Parliamentary Under Secretary Bob Neill MP said the Government wanted to tighten regulations while ensuring “fair play”.

One of the measures pledged was a law to make the process of applying for retrospective planning permission more difficult. 

The occupants at the site on Fairfield Road applied for planning permission only after setting up camp and laying hardcore.

Mr Menzies said: “If retrospective planning is made more difficult it will make it much harder for this type of activity to take place.

“I appreciate this does not help the immediate situation on Fairfield Road but hopefully when these long-overdue reforms are introduced it will make it much more difficult for this type of situation to arise in the future.

“In the meantime I would urge residents who oppose the site on Fairfield Road to continue to be vigilant and to make their views known when the planning inquiry takes place.”

A planning inquiry is now set to take place in February.

If an independent planning inspector upholds Fylde Council’s decision not to grant planning permission Fylde Council can then seek a court order to forcibly remove the travellers from the area.

The site on Fairfield Road has been a concern since last November when more than 20 caravans moved onto a field on the border of Wyre and Fylde and proceeded to lay thousands of tonnes of hardcore. 

Since then residents have raised fears about road safety, animal welfare and illegal use of countryside land.

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