A CONTROVERSIAL blueprint for provide 31 more pitches for travellers and gypsy caravans in a borough by 2036 is vital to fight unauthorised sites, senior councillors have been warned.

Hyndburn Council considered the draft proposals today/yesterday (Wednesday)

It says that the borough needs to find 31 new pitches by 2036.

The document suggests land at Springvale on the Oswaldtwistle/Accrington border which already has planning permission for 19 caravans and mobile homes, would be suitable for the first 10 needed by 2024.

It also identifies four other potential sites for the remaining 21 needed to meet Hyndburn’s local plan obligations by 2036.

They are land off Whinney Hill Road in Altham, land at Whitebirk, between the A6119 and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, and two sites off Sough Lane on the outskirts of Oswaldtwistle.

Other potential land for long-term provision include sites off Union Street and Charter Street (both in Accrington) and three more sites - two near Coach Road Meadow and one between Rhyddings Street and Stone Bridge Lane.

Hyndburn already has 19 sites accommodating 80 families.

Hyndburn Council planning chief Simon Prideaux told the meeting that having a 'robust' plan for new sites was essential to prevent unauthorised alternatives springing up in the Green Belt.

He said it was necessary to support legal moves to resist current appeals against the borough's refusal of two such unauthorised sites at Back Lane in Baxenden and Moss Lane in Knuzden.

Spring Hill Labour councillor Munsif Dad expressed concern about the Spring Vale and Charter Street proposals.