A BUSINESSMAN is asking a cabinet minister to stop a council forcing him to sell his property.

Mujahd Ansa bought two adjoining properties on Burnley Road, Padiham, early this year for £40,000.

He is in the process of refurbishing the buildings and having completed the interior work has leased them to a Turkish kebab shop.

Mr Ansa is angry to discover that Burnley Council now intends to buy them through a Compulsory Purchase Order in its plans to redevelop the street as part of the Heritage Lottery-funded Padiham Townscape Scheme.

The Burnley resident, who runs North-West Property Ltd, has already spent more than £10,000 on renovating the buildings but says he has only been offered his purchase price.

He has now appealed to Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick asking him to quash the CPO.

Mr Ansa is also angry that the Heritage Lottery Scheme had allocated £60,000 to buy and renovate the property and that Burnley Council’s planning committee approved a borough application to redevelop it as part of the conservation project despite him still owning it.

He said: “I am very angry about this.

“I bought this property in good faith at auction and am in the process of completely renovating it and have let it to someone as a Turkish kebab shop. He is angry and worried too.

“I don’t want the council or the lottery money. I just want to refurbish this building myself without any conditions on what I can do with it.

“I have submitted an appeal to the Secretary of State asking him to quash the CPO.

“Why can the council not leave me to do this myself?”

A Burnley Council spokesman said: “The decision to compulsorily purchase this property was taken as a last resort.

“It has been empty for more than 10 years and is having a detrimental impact, both visually and structurally, on the neighbouring properties, as well as the whole area.

“Without the council’s intervention the building will most likely remain vacant and continue to deteriorate.

“This is a high priority project within the wider Padiham Townscape heritage regeneration scheme that aims to improve the town centre and make it more attractive to shoppers and visitors.”