A GROUP of travellers could be kicked out of the site it has called home for more than five years.

Families living on the The Pear Tree site, in New Park Road, Hockley, face an uphill battle to save their homes after planning officers recommended they were denied permission to stay.

Three adults and their children were given temporary leave to keep two caravans and a mobile home on the land in 2008.

However, the families now want to allow extra relatives to move in permanently and position another two caravans on the site.

Councillors will make a final decision on Thursday, but the issue has already driven deep divides between the families and their neighbours.

One nearby resident, who did not want to be named, said: “We have had to put up with litter and noise coming from this site for years.

“If the people living there really claim they are homeless, then they should go through the normal process like everyone else, not try to get around the planning system.”

But Hanna Doran, who was one of the original travellers to move to the site, said they simply wanted a place to call home.

“Some members of my family are very sick, and my children go to school here now,” she said.

“Everyone deserves the right to have a home, and we have one here.

“We hope the councillors will give us permission to stay.”