PLANS are afoot to bring an eyesore Blackburn home back up to scratch.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has begun the compulsory purchase order process on 102 Pringle Street in the town, which has stood empty for more than a decade.

Cllr Phil Riley said: “Substantial efforts have been made by the project manager (empty housing) to identify and contact the owner to encourage him to bring the property back into use.

“The council has corresponded with the owner since January 2017 but he has declined to engage, which has resulted in CPO action being recommended as the most appropriate form of action. The property is a mid-terraced two-up two-down house, built pre-1919 of red brick and has a pitched slate roof.

“The external condition is extremely poor with rotten and broken windows and a rotting door.

“The front and rear garden areas are very overgrown, obstructing access to the property.

“It is situated on a long terrace of generally well-kept homes and is having a detrimental impact on the local neighbourhood.”

As of the beginning of September, there were around 2,350 empty and unfurnished properties in the borough, of which 436 have been empty for more than two years and are being charged a premium rate for council tax

Cllr Riley added: “Contact has been made with all owners of long-term empty properties and as a direct result of that intervention, 148 long-term empty properties were brought back into use in 2017/8.

“However, as quickly as properties are removed from the empty property list, others are added to it.”

Bringing empty properties back into use helps the council generate extra income via the government’s new homes bonus scheme.

Proposed CPO action for this property will be funded through the Neighbourhood Intervention Fund which is part of the council’s Housing Capital Programme.

The property is expected to be valued at less than £40,000 and there are currently £183,450 of uncommitted funds available within the project to support the making of individual CPOs.

Once acquired by the council, the property will be offered for sale via a local estate agent to the highest bidder with preference given to buyers who intend to live in the property.