ROSSENDALE Council has identified two sites to locate its parks and cemeteries team.

The team needed to find a new depot to operate from as they are due to be displaced by works to improve the Whitaker.

The council has identified a current depot at Tup Bridge and a small-scale operating centre at Marl Pits.

It comes after council bosses made a U-turn on controversial plans to store five-tonne wagons in a cemetery amid fury from residents earlier this year.

Rossendale Council applied for a Goods Vehicle Operator’s licence to add an operating centre to keep goods vehicles at Haslingden Cemetery in Grane Road.

The proposals, which would have seen four vehicles moved to the cemetery from The Whitaker museum, sparked a furious reaction from residents who said the plans showed a lack of respect for grieving relatives of people buried there.

Tup Bridge has been used to store vehicles for a number of years. Small scale works will take place to upgrade the depot, such as installing a fence so it is suitable for staff to use as a base. But it will also mean the loss of four parking spaces for Rawtenstall Market.

The council will be advertising its plan before applying to the traffic commissioner for new vehicle operating licences.

Cllr Adrian Lythgoe, portfolio holder for operations, said: “We said we would keep people up to date with plans for the move given the strength of feeling about the first plan.

“While splitting the team over two sites is not perfect, it is the only viable solution we have.

“We believe there will be minimal impact on people and businesses but we will be talking to market traders and others to reassure them.

“Finally, just to reiterate, the vehicles being stored over these two sites are not bin wagons, they are much smaller vehicles that are used to support the work the parks and cemeteries team do.”

Following the furore earlier this year, leader of the council Cllr Alyson Barnes said the local authority would be looking for a new site because it was impossible to ignore the strength of feeling against the original plan.