A temporary stop notice has been served to a landowner after a council was alerted to an 'illegal encampment' in Darwen.

Blackburn with Darwen council said yesterday it been made aware of an ‘unauthorised encampment’ on private land south of Whitehall Park.

The location is said to be a farm off, Bolton Road.

In an update today (Thursday) the council said: “Please be aware that the notice was served on the landowners this afternoon to prevent further damage to the field. 

“The landowners have also confirmed to the council that a planning application is to be submitted to regularise the works.

“The council are also considering other options that are available to us.”

The local authority said it had notified all relevant public bodies, including the Environment Agency to check whether a permit has been granted, Natural England and Lancashire Constabulary’s Wildlife Crime Officer, ‘to investigate any damage to protected habitats’.

Earlier today, the council confirmed that members of the traveller community were still at the site.

A council statement issued on Wednesday read: “We will also be speaking directly to residents in the immediate area.

“In the borough there are currently eight authorised traveller sites to ensure adequate provision is provided.”