Revamp delay for Chorley's Brook House Hotel after thousands are spent on evicting Travellers from site
Renovation work to a popular closed hotel has been put back after thousands of pounds were spent on evicting Travellers from the site.
Members of the Traveller community had set up shop at The Brook House Hotel in Clayton-Le-Woods, near Chorley, on Tuesday (November 5).
The hotel, which closed in April and was recently given permission to be transformed into apartments by Chorley Council's planning committee, saw four caravans and six vehicles camped up on the site, with a dog also visible.
Site owner Pradeep Sobti subsequently travelled from more than two hours from his home in Derbyshire to assist with the situation after being alerted by neighbours.
He said: "They were quite intimidating so it was not worth the aggro for them or for me."
As a result he contacted Chorley Council which referred him to Manchester-based private enforcement company Court Enforcement Specialists, which made an agreement with the group to leave by Wednesday morning (November 6).
CEO and Director of Operations at Court Enforcement Specialists, Gareth Haggerty, said: "[Pradeep] contacted ourselves and we were there within two hours.
"We served a notice on the Travellers and we made an agreement that they would be gone by the following morning because not everyone was on site.
"We then peacefully removed them the following morning."
Mr Haggerty also revealed it was the same group that recently parked up on the Booths car park in Longridge in October.
Pradeep added: "The good news is with the help of this company we have managed to get rid of the Travellers.
"They were there at 8am and gone by 11.
"The company was really good and so was one of our neighbours, John, for alerting us to this.
"I just want to put the word out there that we are so thankful and also doing all we can on the site.
"Let's just hope this is the last problem for this place because we can work on it. It's set us back £2,000."
The eviction report filed by Court Enforcement Specialists states that the group left by 10.25am.
Mr Sobti also praised Chorley Council for its help in the situation.
He said: "The council couldn't have helped because it was on private land but they referred us to private companies and kept checking in for updates.
"Their hands were tied but still kept in touch. They did what they could."
Lancashire Police did not attend but a spokesman confirmed the issue was reported to them, adding that "the land owner was referred to the council" who were leading on the response.
Coun Alistair Morwood, who is responsible for public protection at Chorley Council, said: “We are always keen to deal swiftly in response to reports from the public whether it is public or private land.
"In this case we supported the landowner with advice and pointed them in the direction of court enforcement specialists.
"We’re glad it helped and that the situation has now been resolved."