RESIDENTS in Tockholes have just over one week left before they hear whether controversial motocross activities will remain on land at Shaws Farm near their houses.

A public inquiry to decide whether or not to allow the owners of the land permission to hold motocross activities will begin at 10am on Tuesday, November 9, at Blackburn Town Hall.

The landowners, Mr and Mrs Gradwell applied for a lawful development certificate in March this year. That would have allowed motocross activities to be carried out at their site, despite the complaints of local residents.

But those residents opposed to the plan voiced their objections, which led to Blackburn with Darwen Council turning the application down.

The residents supplied written evidence which said the racing track had rarely been used before the applicants took it over in 2001 - therefore they had no right to claim it should become a permanent fixture.

But Mr and Mrs Gradwell appealed against this decision, leading to the need for a public inquiry to take place.

The couple claim the activities are safe and popular and have been held for many years without a problem and therefore should be allowed to continue.

But those living near to the site are fed up of the noise disturbance and believe the site is unsuitable.

Tockholes resident Glynn Woon, who lives close to the site, said: "The applicants are seeking the legal right to use the track 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

"If successful, they will be able to develop a major commercial undertaking in this highly unsuitable location. Even if they do not develop it themselves, they would be able to sell it on to a major leisure company for future development.

"Motocross tracks that can be used full time in this way are few and far between because they make life so miserable for local residents and therefore can command a high price."

"Although there will be a lot of technical legal points argued at the inquiry, it is vitally important that as many people as possible turn up to support the council's decision and opposition to the track."

He added: "If we lose at the inquiry, there is no appeal."

A joint notice has been issued by all three Livesey and Pleasington ward councillors - Couns Alan Cottam, Derek Hardman and John Williams - urging residents living near Stockclough Lane to join the campaign.