BUILDING a new street of affordable homes on a long-vacant 'eyesore' site will start in the New Year.

Preparatory work is already under way on a £6million project on a brownfield site in Blackburn's Mill Hill.

Great Places Housing Group are constructing 42 affordable homes on the junction of New Wellington Street and Queens Terrace.

All 42 on the former Netlon site are for affordable rent.

The start of building has been welcomed by Mill Hill and Moorgate ward’s Cllr Damian Talbot as 'great news'.

The scheme should be completed and ready for occupation in 2022.

This new scheme will add to to social landlord's existing 900-home stock in the town and the new properties it is building nearby at sites including Shorrock Lane and Bowen Street.

In total Great Places is currently investing more than £32m in Blackburn.

The new Mill Hill scheme will feature eight one-bed homes, 22 two-bed homes and 12 three-bed homes on the former industrial site.

Helen Spencer, Great Places' director of development, said: “We’re committed to playing our part in tackling the housing crisis.

"Our New Wellington Street development will provide affordable homes and transform the local streetscape, removing another derelict site.

“Our plans will look to transform what had become a well-known eyesore over the years into an area with some fantastic new homes, which will provide a significant boost to the local area.

“The site has its challenges with two high retaining walls, which presented an issue.

"However, we’ve been able to overcome the challenges the site posed and have been able to incorporate the walls and ensure an attractive street layout and the most efficient use of the land.

“Great Places has a very ambitious development programme across Lancashire over the coming years and we look forward to see these homes built.”

Cllr Talbot said: "This is great news.

"It will provide much needed affordable housing in the area.

"It is good to see building on this site which has been empty for many years since Netlon left.

"Various schemes have come forward but then come to nothing.

"It will really lift the area as it is a large central site in Mill Hill."