A REGENERATION boss has issued a plea to householders holding up a major new homes scheme to sell their houses as councillors approved plans to compulsorily purchase their properties.

The owners in Hardman Street, Mill Hill, have declined town hall offers to buy.

On Thursday night Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive board authorised the start of seeking compulsory purchase order so phase two of the 151 homes Griffin regeneration scheme can go ahead.

Since 2008 the council has been buying properties in the area including The Griffin pub.

Failure to buy the last two houses and a car repair workshop in Hardman Street is preventing the second stage of the regeneration of the former Griffin estate - building 85 homes on land around Coleridge Street and East Street.

Cllr Phil Riley told the meeting : "There are three properties where our negotiations with housebuilders have not completed. As an exercise in putting some preparatory safeguards in place we want to move that we start the compulsory purchase programme. That doesn't mean to say that is what we will do. We still hope to come to a voluntary agreement with the householder but we have to do something which will ultimately bring that site into availability for house development."

Cllr Damian Talbot, who represents Mill and Moorgate, said: “I absolutely support moving forward. All the residents in this area want to see this site developed. We want to see some nice housing in the area. It is blighted at the moment with fly-tipping.”