Travellers’ site could stay for four more years

Travellers' site on Hut Lane, Heath Charnock
Travellers' site on Hut Lane, Heath Charnock

A controversial travellers’ site could remain in place for another four years.

A family of travellers is seeking permission to stay on the land on Hut Lane, Heath Charnock, near Chorley.

“Until things progress, we are in the same situation as we were two years ago. There is no progression on Cowling Farm. We still need stability for the children for the next few years.”

Mike Linfoot

The Linfoot family has been based there since 2009.

There have previously been calls from neighbours and other objectors for them to be thrown off the green belt land.

But after a four-year legal battle with Chorley Council, temporary planning permission was granted for two years in July 2013.

The allowed time comes to an end next month, so they have submitted a fresh application seeking temporary permission for a further four years.

The application seeks to change the use of the land to a residential gypsy and traveller site with two mobile homes and five touring caravans - one for storage when not travelling. They also want to retain a utility block.

There are currently up to three caravans on the site, but traveller Mike Linfoot said they were seeking permission for two more after an assessment identified a need for five pitches.

He said: “The extra caravans are for our family and fulfils the need which has been set by the gypsy and traveller accommodation assessment. The five takes our family into account.

“We are only asking for what has been passed through a process, we are not asking for any more or any less.”

As a result of the assessment, the council is looking to set up a permanent site for gypsies and travellers off Cowling Road, Chorley.

However it is not yet known when it will be ready and the Linfoot family will be able to move there.

Mr Linfoot said: “Until things progress, we are in the same situation as we were two years ago.

“There is no progression on Cowling Farm. We still need stability for the children for the next few years.”

The planning application was submitted last week and it is hoped a decision will be made in August.

Mr Linfoot said: “There is no alternative accommodation for us and there is a need which has been proven, so I can’t see any issues with our application.

“I’m quite confident that it will get granted.”