PLANNING chiefs will decide on whether or not to back controversial proposals for two traveller sites in Poole next week.

Borough of Poole’s planning committee is set to convene at the town’s Lighthouse theatre because of the large number of residents expected to attend.

Members will consider applications by the borough’s own environmental and consumer protections services for the two temporary stopping sites at Creekmoor and Oakdale.

However, there may yet be a further twist in the saga, following an increased offer to buy the Creekmoor site made by a Poole commercial property company earlier this week.

Forelle Estate’s £350,000 bid has prompted a special full council meeting at the end of this month. Borough officials have confirmed this debate will be followed by a members’ vote on whether or not to accept this offer.

There were rowdy scenes at Poole’s Civic Centre in January as around 200 people attempted to access an emergency council meeting, which ended with the council voting to press ahead with the planning applications to be heard next week.

Security guards were forced to shepherd some people from the main chamber before the meeting started, amid safety concerns about numbers trying to attend.

Borough of Poole deputy leader and planning cabinet portfolio holder Cllr Mike White said: “Poole experiences a number of unauthorised encampments each year.

“A temporary stopping place will help us more effectively manage this situation as it allows the police to use their powers to move unauthorised encampments to this site.”

The two separate proposals are for 12 pitches at Marshes End, Creekmoor, and four pitches at land north of the B&Q car park, Broadstone Way.

If the planning committee approves the applications, the two sites would be authorised for a temporary period between Good Friday and September 15.

Borough of Poole insists the sites would be closed for the rest of the year. Cllr White said: “Members of the planning committee will consider these applications and all the relevant planning issues before making a decision on whether the two temporary stopping places can go ahead.”

The meeting at the Lighthouse Theatre takes place at 9.15am on Thursday, March 20.