A PITCHED battle is due over plans to create a camping and caravan park in Rossendale at a former scrap yard.

Neighbours of the site in Blackwood Road, Stacksteads, claim the disruption from additional traffic would be unbearable.

And they fear that the camp, which has six caravan spots, would not be used by tourists but would attract travellers.

But supporters of the bid say not enough is being done to promote the valley as a tourist destination - and such a camp would fulfill a vital need.

Planning agent Ben Edmondson said: “Rossendale boasts some of East Lancashire’s most scenic hills and fells and should be enjoyed by tourists as well as locals.”

The reputation of the Adrenaline Gateway, in nearby Lee Quarry, attracts visitors from across the north west.

“There are no affordable sites to camp or stay close to these hills and quarries. They are not using or spending money in local shops and businesses,” added Mr Edmondson.

“This site would mean people stay in Rossendale, tourism would increase and subsequently local businesses would benefit.”

He has been supported by the Lancashire and Blackpool Tourist Board, which confirms there is a lack of accommodation in the valley.

“The development of the proposed accommodation would support the drive to increase overnight stays in Lancashire and at present, there is a growing trend for camping,” added a spokesman.

Amended plans submitted for the plot show a redundant house on site being reused as an office, increased parking and the moving of a toilet block to a point where it would be screened by trees.

The final decision will rest with the borough council’s development control committee, which meets at Bacup’s Futures Park next Tuesday.

Recommending approval, planning manager Stephen Stray said: “The use of this site as a scrap yard and the adjacent recycling centre have generated significant traffic volumes, including lorries.

“The site will contain a relatively small number of pitches for touring caravans and the anticipated use of the road is not likely to increase over that associated with the previous use.”