BURNLEY Council bosses are set to approve proposals to buy up 18 empty homes across the borough.

The local authority is using the compulsory purchase order process to buy a raft of properties, the worst of which has been empty for more than nine years.

Council officials say without intervention, the properties may remain vacant, continue to deteriorate, attract anti-social behaviour, flytipping and arson, all of which cause fear in local residents, resulting in a declining neighbourhood.

The owners of these properties have been contacted and have either not responded at all or have given no reasonable proposals for renovating the property or bringing it back into housing use.

Orders are set to be approved for properties in Bar Street, Barden Lane, Hollingreave Road, Wilton Street, Spencer Street, Randall Street, Smalley Street, Bivel Street, Healey Wood Road, Elmwood Street, Oxford Road, Pendle Street, Parkinson Street and Springfield Road.

So far the council's vacant property initiative and empty homes programme has seen over 130 properties acquired, refurbished and re-sold or re-let.

Negotiations for the acquisition of the properties have not yet commenced on the majority as no contact has been received from the owners.

If the owners do contact the council, efforts will be made to purchase the properties by agreement.

The cost of delivering the properties detailed in this report will be funded from the Empty Homes programme.

It is not envisaged that all the CPOs listed in this report will be made in this financial year as properties may be brought back in to use by owners prior to making the CPO or properties may be bought by agreement.

The selling prices for the properties are estimated to vary from between £45,000 to around £80,000 once renovated and the council expects to spend about £35,000 renovating each of the properties.

Any receipts generated from the sale of properties will be recycled back in to the programme to enable the purchase and renovation of more problem properties.

The proposals are set to be approved by the council's ruling executive at a meeting next week.