PLANS to build a travellers site which were refused have now been overturned.

An appeal against the refusal of planning permission for the travellers site in Hapton has been upheld by the Secretary of State.

The proposal includes buildings five static caravan pitches and a house following the removal of a mobile home at Spa Wood Farm in Hapton.

Bosses at Burnley Council refused the application in January 2017 on the grounds the site was in an isolated location within the rural area and also had poor road access.

At the time a council spokesman said: "Approval of this application would lead to inappropriate and unsuitable development in the rural area without sufficient justification that would be to the detriment of the locality."

An appeal was launched by the applicant, Oathie Sykes, who has owned and lived at the farm off Billington Road for the last 17 years with his wife, children and extended family.

The appeal was heard at Burnley Town Hall on May 18, but the inspector has only now published a public report which states the appeal will be upheld.

In the report the inspector said issues over road access and extra caravans at the site could be overcome and said there was a general need for traveller sites in the borough.

The inspector said: "The council accepts that it does not currently have a five-year supply of gypsy and traveller sites.

"In the first instance the appellant is seeking a permanent planning permission. In these circumstances, she considered that the lack of a five0year supply and the general unmet need attracts moderate weight in support of a permanent permission."

The inspector also noted that the Highways Authority, Lancashire County Council, did not raise any objections to the proposal.

Ward councillor Joanne Greenwood said: "This has been rumbling on for a long time.

"The main issue surrounding the application was the proposed increase of the number of caravans allowed on the site. "The site is land-locked and a small private road is maintained by one of the neighbours.

"It's not a very steady road and would not take a great deal of traffic."

The Sykes family declined to comment.