ONE of the borough’s best loved beauty spots has suddenly been blighted by an unauthorised development.
Residents looked on aghast as a lorry and trailer unloaded a large static caravan onto the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in the shadow of the award-winning Crooke Hall Inn.
The operation was watched by amazed and nonplussed staff from All Gates Brewery which has invested heavily in reviving the classic canalside pub.
Now more than 15 official complaints have been lodged with the council demanding enforcement action to have the mobile home removed.
There was no sign of the van being lived in when the Evening Post called this week and it is not legally clear who owns it. Or on whose behest is it there. But it is believed to be the property of a narrow boater whose barge may be moored nearby.
All Gates Brewery director David Mayhall is helping to lead the protests on behalf of its attractive community pub and residents of Crooke village.
He said: “For a while we have been a little concerned about a number of boats that have been permanently moored to the west of Crooke Village bridge on the northern bank of The Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Crooke Village.
“My understanding is that they are not permanent moorings yet some half a dozen boats have certainly been there for up to six months when I believe the maximum duration of a stay should be two weeks.
“You can imagine the consternation caused in the village when a static caravan was delivered to an adjacent piece of land allegedly owned by one of the boaters with no planning permission held and no authority sought. Villagers were so concerned they held an impromptu meeting.”
The council says it is now tracing the owner to enforce a planning application.