Arson probe over blaze at traveller site

The travellers on the land at Hardhorn, Poulton, where the caravan fire started.
The travellers on the land at Hardhorn, Poulton, where the caravan fire started.

An arson investigation is under way after a caravan was allegedly set alight at a travellers site.

Firefighters and police were called to the land on Angel Lane Hardhorn, Poulton, after local residents spotted a blaze.

Residents claim there have been a number of fires since the families moved on to the site four years ago.

Nobody was inside the caravan at the time of the fire and it is believed to have been packed with rubbish.

A spokesman for the Residents Against Inappropriate Development in Hardhorn, Singleton, Staining and Poulton group said: “I could see it for miles around because the flames were about 30 to 40ft high.

“The a plume of smoke was incredible and the acrid smell was horrible.

“There was a small explosion as well which is normally the case because there is a gas bottle in there.”

The residents group says it is concerned news of the fire could put people off visiting the area when the weather improves.

The travellers group, which is made up of four families – including 39 children – are living on the fields without any planning permission and are currently fighting to stay on the land.

A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police confirmed they were treating the fire as arson.

She said: “We were called to reports of a fire at the caravan park and we are investigating the cause of the fire.

“It is being treated as arson.”

The travellers were not available for comment on the incident.

Long battle for families intent on staying put

The travellers have been involved in a four year battle to stay on the land.

Fylde Council had expected the families living in the caravans to leave the site on January 3 after the Court of Appeal threw out their application to stay.

However, travellers were given a stay of execution after they lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court, which is yet to be heard.

The travellers insist eviction from the site would split the families up.

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