PLANS for improving 24 houses in Walton Street, Colne, have been approved by Pendle’s executive councillors.

Coun Joe Cooney, leader of Pendle Council, said: “This is a very good decision for the Walton Street area.

“We can now start looking for developers who’ll invest in the empty houses and make them pleasant places to live in.”

The council began purchasing homes in the two lower blocks of the street in 2010 following an increase in the number of properties being abandoned.

The aim was to create new housing offering more housing choice because the market in that area had stagnated.

But the end of Housing Market Renewal funding and the poor state of the economy meant it had not been possible to develop a new housing scheme on the site.

Coun Tony Greaves, a Waterside ward councillor, said: “Pendle Council has had a real challenge over these properties for reasons completely out of its control. This may now be the best, or only, way forward. But we will be scrutinising any proposals very carefully to make sure they will work well for the Waterside area and local residents.”