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Council anger as travellers return to Darwen
COUNCILLORS are angry after travellers returned to land off Hollins Grove Street in Darwen for the second time in a year.
Caravans were first seen on Wednesday after a locked gate was smashed open to allow access to the site.
About 10 of the caravans could be seen on the land yesterday.
The privately-owned land, opposite the site of the former Hollins Grove paper mill, is listed for sale at £1.1million.
Sgt Dave Sherrington, of Darwen’s neighbourhood policing team, said it should only be temporary.
He said: “I have made enquiries with our community cohesion unit who deal with these situations.
“As far as I am aware they probably aren’t going to be there for long as it is only a temporary encampment.
“I believe they should be moving on soon.”
Sudell councillor Paul Browne, who lives in nearby Greenway Street, said he was furious.
He said: “It is time we got prosecuting these people as they get away with all sorts.
“If we did that, we would be prosecuted for it.
“It is time the law came down on the side of the public. It is wrong. Absolutely wrong.”
Earcroft councillor Trevor Maxfield said: “If they leave the site clean and tidy I wouldn’t mind so much, but they don’t usually.
“There is a need for a traveller’s site in the borough so they don’t have to break into private property. I just hope the landowner acts to get them moved on quickly for the sake of those living nearby.”
It is the second time in under a year that the site has been used by travellers. Sixty caravans pitched up there early last year.
They were served with a section 61 notice under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act and left the site on March 5.