URGENT repair works should take place to preserve one of East Lancashire's most unique listed buildings, councillors have been told.

The late 18th century limestone and sandstone dog kennels, part of the Gisburne Park Estate, were constructed in the form of a sham castle, with two round towers.

And since early 1981 they have been grade II listed, Ribble Valley Council's planning committee heard.

But growing concerns over the condition of the historic structure has led the authority to recommend an urgent works notice being issued to guard against their eventual collapse.

Even in 1996, when planning permission was sought for the kennels' conversion for domestic use, planning officers noted that "the building is now in an advanced state of dereliction" with part of the stonework having collapsed and large amounts of vegetation growing around the walls.

Then in 2010, when a landscape management plan was put together for Gisburne Park, it was observed that consolidation work was required before the kennels, sited near Gisburne Bridge, were lost.

This position was reinforced when, the following year, the park was added to English Heritage's Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

Borough officials wrote to the owners in 2013, stressing that "the building is currently in a ruinous and significantly deteriorated condition with a risk of further imminent collapse of sections of masonry" and urged remedial works.

While a listed building application was submitted for the kennels last August, planning officers felt it contained insufficient information to enable the extent and impact of any proposed conservation works to be asssessed.

Adrian Dowd, the council's principal planning officer, said in a report to be considered on Thursday: "There are serious concerns for the further deterioration of the building over the winter months and there is an urgent need to stabilise the building and prevent further decay.

"In this regard, given that the requested information has not been forthcoming from the property owner and/or their agent, the local Planning Authority has decided to issue an urgent works notice."

If the notice is authorised by councillors, the authority can undertake any repair works and then seek to recover the outstanding costs from the kennels' owners.