Lancashire County Council has agreed to cease ownership of three traveller sites across the county.

Members of the council's cabinet made the decision following a public consultation into the future of the sites, including one at Whinney Hill in Altham.

There are currently 15 pitches at the Hyndburn site, which are paid for by residents, but despite the site being under the ownership of LCC, the local authority does not have a legal requirement to keep them.

At a full council meeting in February, it was proposed to declare the sites surplus to the county council’s needs, generating a saving of £131,000 relating to the maintenance and running costs.

And in May, proposals were made to sell them off but on the condition they remain traveller sites, and a subsequent consultation was launched.

A total of 191 questionnaires were completed and found 80 per cent disagreed with the proposals.

At a meeting on Thursday, members of the cabinet voted to declare the sites surplus to the council's needs.

Cllr Geoff Driver CBE, leader of the council, said: "The county council has considered the results of the consultation very closely and I would like to thank everyone who gave us their views.

"This has been a difficult decision, but due to the significant financial pressures the council faces it is one we have had to take.

"We will now seek to keep all the affected residents informed about the next steps of this process."

Families living on the sites consider them to be their homes with some residing there for many years.

Some individuals raised concerns and suggestions as they felt frightened and upset at what may happen if the sites are sold.

However, cabinet members stated any transfer of ownership must be subject to a condition that each site can only be used as a traveller site.

A total of £131,000 per year was budgeted for running costs and maintenance issues at the sites.

A financial deficit of £64.755m is being forecast by the authority in 2022/23.

The other sites in question are at Mellishaw Park in Morecambe and Leighton Street in Preston.