RESIDENTS are calling for a disused pub to be secured after it became a magnet for vandals.

The old Corporation Park pub, in Revidge Road, Blackburn, was sold almost 10 years ago, and has stood empty ever since, as the owner was refused planning permission to turn the building into an Islamic madrasa.

The building has now fallen into disrepair, and vandals are gaining access to the building, causing problems for neighbouring residents.

Mike Chamberlin, 78, lives nearby with his wife Martha, 52.

He said: “It was closed in 2004 or 2005 so it’s nine or 10 years that it’s been empty.

“At the back it’s been vandalised, and it’s dangerous. They get onto the roof at the back and write graffiti on the wall.

“And once on the roof they have access straight away to the house next to it.

“There’s also a fire risk, they go in there to smoke and light a fire to keep warm.

“If we did want to sell our house there would be difficulties – no one wants to invest in a house when you’ve got that two doors down.

“These things concern us, not just Martha and myself, but the two other families that live in the cottages next to us.

“We think nine years is long enough for a decision to be made, and to put value back into our cottages.”

But owner Tee Sheth, said he did not have the funds available to make repairs to the building.

He said: “It’s a property which is empty that I’ve obviously run out of money to do, but that’s it.

“There were plans put in for that property, which the council refused, they’re obviously not interested in regenerating that area.”

Corporation Park Coun John Wright said: “Since planning permission fell through we assumed he’d sell it or find another use for it.

“We’ve tried to engage with the owner and find out what his plans are, and encourage him the keep the building secure.

“The longer he leaves it the less value there will be in the building.

“This is just a plea to him really to develop it for another purpose.

“We’re happy to discuss these options with him to come up with a way forward.”