BLACKBURN with Darwen and Hyndburn Council's have jointly commissioned and expert assessment of provision of sites for travellers and gypsies.

The study will examine any need for new ones.

Blackburn with Darwen regeneration boss Cllr Phil Riley has ruled out reviving a 2014 plan to double the size of its Ewood site.

He said the borough already had adequate provision adding that if more were needed in East Lancashire other boroughs should provide them.

His views were echoed by Hyndburn Council leader Cllr Miles Parkinson who said his borough had 19 sites including Whinney Hill Road with 100 pitches.

The review is part of the two boroughs preparing new Local Plans.

The Lancashire Telegraph has discovered a previously unseen document prepared by officers during the consultation for the 2015 version of the Blackburn with Darwen.

It reveals they proposed doubling the size of the council-owned Ewood site in Blackburn from 20 pitches to 40.

This was dropped and replaced by a commitment to bring forward 34 new pitches on privately sites by 2026 of which just a handful were created.

Hyndburn Council''s Local Plan identified a possible extra 15 pitches on land at Sankey House Farm.

Cllr Riley said yesterday: "We have ample provision for gypsies and travellers, especially since a change in the law requiring evidence of a 'nomadic' lifestyle.

"Enlarging Ewood was suggestion brought forward in 2014 which was later dropped in the final plan. It is not on the agenda this time and will not happen."

Ewood ward's Cllr Maureen Bateson said: "I am pleased that there are no plans to extend the Ewood site as the current site is already big enough. It is not something the local residents would want.”

Blackburn with Darwen Council Tory group leader Cllr John Slater said: "We do not need any more pitches for travellers in the borough and we do not need any more at Ewood. It would not be fair on local residents."

Cllr Parkinson said: "Hyndburn has provided more than it fair share of sites . It is time for other boroughs to do more."