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Villagers battle to stop traveller site

Protest: Newton site

Protest: Newton site

Villagers fighting a plan to build a travellers’ site near their homes have accused council chiefs of “riding roughshod” over residents.

Around 300 letters of objection from householders in Newton-with-Scales near Preston have been lodged against the scheme on land in Thames Street.

But despite the level of opposition planning officers at Fylde Council have recommended the plan should be given the go-ahead.

Councillors will debate the project at the authority’s development committee on Wednesday and the Newton Residents’ Association is urging as many villagers as possible to lobby the meeting.

“We are concerned that Fylde Borough Council are riding roughshod over rural villagers in their pursuit of central government targets,” stormed spokesman Derrick Ingram. “The people of Newton are surprised and dismayed to learn that Fylde Council planning is recommending approval of this proposal.”

The villagers claim the plan contravenes numerous planning policies. They say the land is contaminated due to historic landfill, there are sewerage and drainage issues, road safety concerns and light pollution, noise and parking needs have not been addressed.

“New rules mean councils that fail to meet targets on the speed and quality of decisions could cede planning power to central government,” added Derrick Ingram. “Residents contend that planning officers at Fylde are sacrificing legitimate local concerns in order to clear down applications and hit government targets.”

 

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