TRAVELLERS have frustrated Radcliffe residents by setting up camp on the old East Lancashire Paper Mill site for the third time in as many years. 

Residents spotted the camp being set up in a car park in Church Street East, near the site of the old Papermakers Arms pub, yesterday.

At least 10 caravans can now be seen at the camp on private land which backs onto Brook Street and East Street.

It is believed travellers have moved onto and left these grounds three times in the last three years but they usually only stay for less than a week.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said they were aware the landowners, CHP Properties, had given the travellers permission to be there.

However a CHP spokesperson categorically denied this was the case and said no permission has been given. 

A resident of Brook Street, who did not wish to be named, said the travellers camp has appeared on this site every year for the past three years at around this time.

She said: “If they just stayed, kept quietly to themselves and tidied their rubbish into a skip before they left no one would have a problem with that.

“But they can be violent and abusive and they leave disgusting rubbish.

“Last year after they left we cleaned up and found full nappies, underwear, plates covered in food and human excrement.”

Mark Kilcoyne, chairman of the East Lancashire Paper Mill Cricket Club which uses the land, said: “They appear on this land around every six months or so and in the last few years I have seen them there about three or four times.

“They usually leave within seven days and move onto a disused car park in Ringley Road – I don’t know where they go after that.

“They have never done any damage to the cricket club or caused a nuisance to us.”

CHP Properties, formerly known as P&F Properties, acquired the site in 2007 and proposed a regeneration project including houses, buildings for employment, a new high school and a water feature.

The company has been unable to find a buyer for the site and last May Bury Council’s planning committee voted to extend the time limit on the planning permission to 2016.

A spokesman for Bury Council said: “If the travellers are on council land or are on the site without the landowner's permission, Bury Council can take steps to remove them.”