TRAVELLERS living in Hyndburn are set to fight to remain there.

The Jones family have been living at Fir Trees in Sough Lane, Guide, beside a herd of around 40 horses, but their temporary planning permission expired last October, meaning they are no longer allowed to stay there.

An appeal against Hyndburn Council’s decision to refuse permanent permission will be heard next month.

Town planners and development consultants, Philip Brown Associates, acting on behalf of William Jones, said in a statement: “There is clearly an unmet need for gypsy sites in the area.

“The council has failed to identify a sufficient supply of alternative sites.

“The appeal inspector accepted the Jones family is close knit and needs a site where they can live together as a traditional extended family group.

“She also recognised the benefits for the family of being able to live close their not inconsiderable herd of horses.”

Mr Jones and his family moved to the site from Ewood in Blackburn in 2010, without planning permission, which was later granted for a period of three years following an appeal.

His parents are in poor health, with his father in need of regular dialysis, and children on the site go to school in Blackburn, according to documents.

But the council said a permanent development in the green belt was not appropriate, despite several larger developments being in close proximity.

The council is now planning to appoint solicitor Paul Sedgwick to manage the family’s appeal, which is expected to be heard on Tuesday, June 24.

Six residents have voiced their concern at the Jones’ plans to remain on the site, citing traffic issues and worries about the impact on the green belt.

Highways engineers at the county council also objected.

A council document to go before the appeals panel said: “It is not considered that the personal circumstances of the applicant represent ‘very special circumstances’ to outweigh the harm that would be caused to the openness, visual amenities and purposes of the green belt.”

Nobody at Fir Trees was available for comment yesterday.