HILLINGDON Council has pledged to fight 'unfeasible' plans to more than double the number of pitches for travellers.

A report by the Greater London Authority has recommended a capital-wide increase in the areas set aside for gypsy and traveller accommodation.

It requires Hillingdon to increase its pitches from 20 to 42, but the council wants planners to think again. All 20 pitches are at the Colne Park caravan site in Mill Road, West Drayton.

Jean Palmer, the council's director of planning and community services, said: "The planning for traveller sites is an ongoing process carried out by London boroughs and co-ordinated by the GLA.

"It was advised that Hillingdon should have an increase of 22 pitches. There is some concern that this figure is not feasible and would need to be reconsidered, and as a result (we are) undertaking further work on traveller requirements to provide a more realistic figure.

"The local authority has responded to the mayor of London to advise that this proposal is not supported until there is an agreed figure of what is needed in the borough."

The GLA planning department is required by the government to increase the number of pitches in the capital to 538, more than doubling current provision.

London Assembly member Tony Arbour argues there is 'no valid rationale' for the move. He said: "This could mean not only a financial burden but that wider housing targets, including the delivery of affording housing, could be put at risk.

"We hope the mayor will use this report to tell the government resources should not be wasted meeting unrealistic targets."