AN MP is urging villagers to make their views known over a controversial proposal to open a travellers site on farmland in Hapton.

Residents have bombarded Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle after the Lancashire Telegraph revealed that Spa Wood Farm had been earmarked as a potential home for travellers in the borough’s Local Plan.

And Mr Birtwistle is now urging residents to take an active role in the plan’s consultation process - and lobby their local councillors.

Landowner Oathie Sykes was not even approached about the provenance of the site off Billington Road before it was highlighted by Burnley Council as a potential site for 28 pitches.

Mr Sykes, who now lives in Cumbria, has indicated he would be ‘open to a worthwhile offer’ for the three-acre site as it is his only asset.

But Mr Birtwistle, in letters to local residents, has highlighted the lack of consultation over the proposal, with a number of residents and Hapton Parish Council being kept in the dark until recently.

He said: “There also appears to be a number of incorrect statements about the Spa Wood site in the documents used to inform the proposal.

“These include the number of families living at the site and the research done to establish the need for a traveller site.

“A number of complex issues have also arisen around the right of way via a private road owned by the farms in the area, so the proposal certainly doesn’t meet sustainable development criteria.”

The consultation on the continues until March 31.