The number of Gypsy and traveller pitches in the borough is set to increase – but council bosses say other authorities need to help shoulder the burden.
Planning proposals which are now out for public consultation include an increase of 18 pitches to meet the needs of the traveller and Gypsy communities for the next 12 years.
However, the plans state that the borough of Hyndburn already provides “a disproportionate number of sites” for Gypsies and travellers when compared to other local authorities in Lancashire.
Accrington North County Councillor Clare Pritchard told the Observer it was time for other Lancashire authorities to shoulder the responsibility for their travelling communities.
She said: “I think we have got really good provision for travellers in Hyndburn, but it’s time for other councils to take responsibility, and take that responsibility to the communities seriously instead of just giving it lip service and ignoring the needs that are there.
“The problem with travellers is not those who live on the managed sites, but the issues are with the illegal encampments in Hyndburn. There are very few problems on the managed sites.”
However, she added: “I do think we will have to think very carefully about where to put these pitches so that the local infrastructure - the schools and hospitals - can cope with the demand.”
There are currently 19 traveller sites in the borough, including the Whinney Hill Road site, with around 100 pitches - although these are predominately privately-owned.
The draft ‘Development Management Development Plan Document’ for Hyndburn report adds that there should be a more “even distribution of sites” across local authority areas.
The document states that Hyndburn will work “collaboratively and cross-boundary with neighbouring local authorities to address the needs of the community.”
It states that there are sufficient pitches to last until 2018, and the locations of proposed pitches will be decided through the ‘site allocation development planning document’ - which is being drawn up in response to assessment surveys and ongoing public submissions.
A final deadline will be published once a formal timetable for the site allocation planning document is agreed.
Public to have their say on proposals
Council bosses are asking people to have their say on a new planning document which will help shape the future of building in Hyndburn.
The ‘Development Management Development Plan Document’ will form the third pillar of the local plan for the borough.
It will sit alongside the Core Strategy and Accrington Area Action Plan – policies that have already been adopted by the council.
The document sets out the detailed planning policies to be used by council planning officers and members of planning committee in determining planning applications for the borough.
The new proposals will replace the planning policies implemented in 1996, and will shape how the borough develops for the next two decades – including decisions on the local economy and town centres, community infrastructure, housing, the environment, accessibility and transport and rural issues.
The draft plan is out for public consultation for a period of six weeks until 5pm on Thursday, November 10.
A spokesperson said: “This is a final opportunity to comment on the document before it is submitted to the planning inspectorate for independent examination.”
Plan documents are available to view on the council website and hard copies can be viewed in libraries and at the council offices at Scaitcliffe House in Accrington.