Travellers move onto hospice field

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Residents in a Chorley village are outraged about a group of travellers camping on a popular field used by a charity for terminally ill children.

A convoy of five caravans moved onto the field near Derian House Children’s Hospice off Chancery Road where the charity hold their annual summer fair.

Vivien Gregory, 65, of nearby Long Croft Meadow, is one of the locals concerned about the problems the travellers could bring.

She said: “The last time we had travellers on Altcar Lane I can remember that a man was caught walking around our back garden and things were moved or taken.

“I know that they may not be the same people but there are lots of elderly people who live in the area and I am worried that it might happen again.”

Margaret Smith of the same street said: “I don’t think they should be there because it is such a nice field.

“Derian House usually hold their summer fair there so it would be a shame to see the field left in a mess.

“They have only been there a day so we don’t know what damage they will make if any.”

A resident of Clematis Close, which backs onto the site, added that they were awoken by loud shouts of children on the field since the travellers moved there.

There are even more fears for Astley Village Juniors FC as council officials had just cut the grass ready for them to play their matches on the field.

Welfare Officer for Astley Village Juniors FC Mark Perks said: “My main concern is the amount of rubbish they leave behind afterwards.

“It has happened before on the site and when the council officers have gone down they have cleared up nappies and faeces.

“I think it is a health and safety issue if they children are playing on the field.”

One of the travellers on the site, who did not want to be named, said that they were planning to move off the field yesterday (Tuesday) and did not want to comment on the residents concerns.

Jamie Carson, Chorley Council’s Director of People and Places, said: “We have a protocol and code of conduct for unauthorised encampments, which is being implemented at the moment.

“The travellers are on council land and we are working closely with the police and local community to move them on as soon as possible.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Constabulary said: “A joint visit has been carried out on April 28 by ourselves and Chorley Borough Council and it was agreed that we will continue to monitor the situation.”