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Fury over travellers

ANGRY residents have demanded action after a large convoy of travellers set up camp in Huncoat.

UNWANTED - The cravans at the old power station site.
UNWANTED - The cravans at the old power station site.

ANGRY residents have demanded action after a large convoy of travellers set up camp in Huncoat.

More than 60 caravans have descended on the old power station site off Altham Lane since the weekend and people living in the area have called on the landowner - a Cheshire businessman - to act.

Itinerants have set up camp on the land several times in recent years and residents said they always leave a mess.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: "We want some action taken. They have been coming up more and more often. Over the years the owner has done nothing to secure or clean the land and he is not being held accountable."

"When the travellers have gone it's like Whinney Hill tip up there. It's an environmental issue and a wildlife issue and nobody seems to care. It's just not fair.''

Another resident added: "It's a total mess and full of rubbish. It's normally very quiet up here and people keep themselves to themselves.''

A third resident added: "They always leave the site in such a mess. They have had big fires going down there and there was black smoke billowing out one day. We don't want them down here. There is a permanent site where they can go. There is rubbish everywhere and I don't have a clue what they do for sanitation as there are no facilities."

Huncoat councillor Dave Parkins said he was frustrated with the situation. He added: "It's the same old story and unfair to Huncoat people. I have called the owner on countless occasions and officers are negotiating with him at the moment to try to get the land developed.''

Steve Tanti, Director of Community Services for Hyndburn Council said: "This is a privately-owned site and we have contacted the landowner and discussions between him, the police, the fire service and ourselves are ongoing in order to resolve the matter. In the longer term, plans are in place to secure the site via action from the landowner, the council and United Utilities."

Inspector Julian Platt, of Accrington Police, said: "We will offer our support to the landowner and the local authority to remove these people but, in the meantime, we will continue to police the site in response to any anti-social behaviour. Steps will also be taken to make sure they cannot get back on the site once they have been removed."


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