OWNERS of eyesore properties on what was dubbed ‘East Lancashire’s worst street’ have been ordered to smarten up.

Neighbours in Spring Street, Rishton, say empty properties are being broken into by groups of young people, and damage and graffiti is being caused to street frontages.

The notorious street has seen vast improvements since a number of dangerously unsafe properties were demolished last year.

However, a number of problem properties are still making life hard for residents.

Hyndburn Council has launched a crackdown, with a court enforcement notice served on one property, and several others being investigated.

Owners are being told to make repairs, secure properties, and replace boarded-up windows with glazing – or face court action.

Ward councillor Ken Moss said: “The street is so much better since the demolitions took place. It just needs a focus on a few last properties.

“The council is really clamping down on this because it affects the neighbours and isn’t fair to them.

“When houses are boarded up, it looks dreadful and it attracts the wrong kind of attention.

“There are lots of new policies coming into effect now to prevent ‘land banking’, where homes are bought as investments and left to rot.”

Deputy leader Clare Pritchard, who oversees regeneration, said: “Spring Street is much better now. We are just looking at the last few problem spots.

“It is a council policy now to make sure there are no boarded-up homes. The owners are ordered to make sure glazing is put in.

“It’s also really important to make sure these properties are secured so people can’t break into them.

“It is a crackdown right across the borough and if there are any properties, or streets, where people are seeing a problem, they must tell us and we can act.”

Previous anti-social behaviour in the street saw firefighters called out 66 times in a year before the demolitions.

A planning application to create smart canalside apartments and houses in Spring Street was approved this year.