A LOCAL authority has confirmed the identity of three preferred locations for new pitches for travellers' caravans in the short term and two potential others for longer term allocation.

The extra provision is needed for Hyndburn Council to meet its government targets when it submits its next Local Plan.

The authority's Cabinet was told that new pitches at existing sites Springvale and Crossland Street in Accrington and Enfield Road in Huncoat could provide 11 extra spaces for caravans by April 2024.

And a report on Gypsy and Traveller Site Provision said that two other existing sites at Sough Lane, Oswaldtwistle and Whinney Hill Road in Altham could provide the 15 further pitches needed by 2036.

The confirmation of the possible additional provision alarmed councillors at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Hyndburn already has 19 sites accommodating 80 families.

Spring Hill ward's Labour councillor Munsif Dad said: "I have reservations about new pitches at Spring Vale.

"People on Spring Hill and Fairfield Street will not like it."

Conservative group leader and St Oswald's ward councillor Marlene Haworth said: "I am not happy about Sough Lane in Oswaldtwistle being on the list.

"I reserve judgement on this.

"There are a lot of local people who will be very unhappy."

The report, which was approved by the meeting for further consultation, forecast a shortfall of 37 pitches by 2036 and 11 by2024.

It said: "The council is now shortlisting the final set of proposed site allocations for gypsy and traveller provision.

"Over the short term there is a net additional need for 11 pitches. It is considered that the sites at Spring Vale, Crossland Street and Enfield Road could all contribute to meeting this need.

" A further extension to the authorised Sough Lane site and the land at Whinney Hill Road, which has been identified as a proposed location for growth, will also provide sufficient land to meet the overall need for the longer-term requirement for 26 pitches."

Cllr Haworth told the meeting that Hyndburn already provided a lot of sites and pitches for travellers caravans and asked council leader Cllr Miles Parkinson: "Where is it all going to end?"

He replied that the borough was being penalised for making proper provision for travellers 20 years ago and that neighbouring councils, including Rossendale, had failed to match that.

Cllr Parkinson said he would write to the government asking it to require other East Lancashire councils to increase their pitches rather than require Hyndburn to provide more

He added: "This is about fairness."