A COUPLE and their 11 children -- dubbed the family from hell after moving house 90 times in 17 years -- fear they will be split up after being threatened with eviction.

Paul Booth, 50, and his wife Gwen, 40, of Coal Clough Lane, Burnley, settled in the town four years ago and now fear their children -- who are all aged 18 or under -- will be taken into care if they can not find a big enough house.

But Paul, a former fairground worker, said he was faced with the task of telling his children they may be sent to live with strangers after receiving an eviction notice from landlord Stephen Dickinson.

Burnley Council today said it had an obligation to help the family if it became homeless but said it could not comment on how they would be rehoused.

The family, dubbed "neighbours from hell" by former neighbours in Bradford, claim to have previous addresses in Rishton, Padiham, Blackburn, Bacup, Rochdale, Hull, Huddersfield, Bradford and Sowerby Bridge.

They left their former homes in Bradford and Sowerby Bridge claiming they had been hounded out by vandals.

They are currently living in a private five-bedroomed extended terrace, complete with cellar, two living rooms and a dining room because there are no council houses big enough for them.

They have stayed in the house longer than any of their other homes and said they were perfectly happy in Burnley.

Mr Booth claimed his family were being forced out of the house after Mr Dickinson said the family were costing him too much money by continuously asking for repairs to be done.

Today Mr Dickinson said the reason for the eviction notice was because the family had not paid rent for two years.

Mr Booth said he had been topping up the housing benefit money to meet the rent for the first six months of his tenancy but said he had been advised to stop paying.

Today Mr Booth said he was prepared to take the case to court rather than see his children go into care.

He said: "I will fight this all the way. The last thing I want is my kids going into care. We have never ever been apart. The children don't want to leave us either. They were very upset when we broke the news to them. .

"We have spoken to the council already but they have told us it is unlikely they will be able to find us another house this size."

Mr Dickinson said: "In the end it came down to non-payment of rent. They have not paid any for two years. I am running a business and can't afford to make a loss."

A Burnley Council spokesman confirmed the family received housing benefit, paid direct to the landlord, but would not comment further on the case.

He added: "The council has an obligation to investigate how it can help anybody in a priority situation or if they find themselves homless, especailly, as in this case, if they have 11 children."