Published: Monday, 8th Jul 2024

Tenants living at Crompton Lodge will be fully supported to temporarily relocate after a court ordered a three-month closure because of persistent criminal activity linked to the site.

The order was enforced today by Bolton Council with all residents leaving the site while being offered a comprehensive support package for those impacted by the closure. 

It includes access to reserved temporary accommodation and measures to ensure there is no disruption to school attendance.  

The council, in consultation with Greater Manchester Police, applied for the closure order following a series of incidents at the site involving drugs, serious violent crime, and firearms. 

It was granted last week by Manchester Magistrates Court, a decision which allows the council to begin facilitating the temporary relocation of tenants.  

Ongoing criminal and threatening behaviour had meant the site was no longer safe for residents, maintenance workers, visiting council staff, or other agencies. 

It was also negatively impacting residents living near to Crompton Lodge as well as placing a significant drain on both police and council resources.

Examples cited included the use of toilet blocks to store drugs and firearms, stolen vehicles being found on site, and repeated damage to CCTV cameras.  

Recent incidents have also included a serious attack on a council liaison officer and the illegal abstraction of electricity which resulted in power being shut off at the site.

Summarising the case, the judge concluded that it would be “very likely there would be further incidents of criminal behaviour at the site if no order was made”.

Bolton Council Leader, Cllr Nick Peel, said:

“As the judge acknowledged, the council has always understood that Crompton Lodge is, first and foremost, a home and a place that is much loved by the families who live there.

“The safety and wellbeing of those tenants has been the council’s key priority throughout this process, and the decision to pursue a closure order was never taken lightly.

“However, the overwhelming evidence presented to the court shows we had reached a point where it was no longer possible to safely maintain the site.

“It would have been unacceptable to continue with the site as it was, a situation which harmed tenants, local residents, and the wider Traveller community.

“Our focus now turns to supporting our tenants to find a new home in a safe and secure environment, while the site remains closed and secure.”