TRAVELLER sites across Bucks have been sold but residents' homes will not be put at risk.

Bucks County Council has confirmed that its five gypsy and traveller sites, including Mansion Lane in Iver and Bottom Waltons in Burnham, have been sold.

The council announced earlier this year that it was to declare the sites as "surplus to the council’s requirements" due to budgetary pressures meaning that it could not invest in the sites.

Since 2004, the county council has had no legal responsibility to provide gypsy and traveller accommodation, but has continued to do so but decided that the best long-term option would be to sell the sites to residents or another landlord.

The Iver site, along with Green Park in Amersham, The Orchards in Chalfont St Peter and Wapseys Wood in Gerrards Cross, have been sold to Best Holdings, a company managing residential caravan parks across the country.

Bottom Waltons has been sold to local businessman Stephen Devonshire.

Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment Warren Whyte said: "The decision was based on the bidders' experience, their policies and procedures, and their knowledge and understanding of the residents’ needs.

"We've worked hard to ensure that site residents have the same level of confidence in the new owners that they had when we managed the sites."

Residents felt they had been "kept in the dark" over the sale, and had not been given enough information about it despite the council carrying out a consultation with the 190 residents who live on 72 pitches across the sites.

One resident, in their consultation response, said: “I think we’ve been kept in the dark and not given enough information and not regularly enough.”

Others raised concerns about who the purchasers would be and whether they would provide fair pitch agreements.

But legally, there is no risk to residents' homes because pitch agreements under the Mobile Homes Act 1983 protect their residency rights.