A LOCAL authority is seeking to buy up 15 long-term empty homes to bring them back into use.

Burnley Council's executive is set to approve the purchase of the vacant houses on Wednesday.

One of the properties has been empty for 19 years.

A report by officers says that long-term vacant properties 'attract anti-social behaviour, flytipping and arson'.

The senior councillors have been recommended to start the process of making Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) for the houses as part of the borough's empty homes programme .

If agreed, they will be acquired for re-sale and, once renovated, reoccupied with the proceeds re-invested into buying and refurbishing further properties.

Through the council’s programme more than 160 empty houses refurbished and re-sold or re-let.

A further 90 are set to be renovated over the coming 12 months.

In addition, more than 100 properties have been brought back into use by the council supporting landlords and owners with loans for renovation.

The properties covered by the COP report are 14 to 16 Boundary Street, Burnley; 15 Brush Street, Burnley; 40 Caernarvon Avenue, Burnley; 11 Fifth Avenue, Burnley; 9 Fir Street, Burnley; 13 Grange Street, Burnley; 23 Harley Street, Burnley; 1 Laburnum Close, Burnley; 75 Lindsay Street, Burnley; 26 Pritchard Street, Burnley: 10 Ruskin Avenue, Padiham; 28 Spencer Street, Padiham; 77 Tarleton Street, Burnley; and 6 Waterbarn Street, Burnley.

Cllr John Harbour, the council's housing boss, said: “Improving our neighbourhoods by bringing properties that have been empty for years back into use is a challenge we’re tackling.

“Long-term empty properties can cause a blight on our communities and attract crime and anti-social behaviour. By bringing empty houses back into use we’re helping to improve the quality of life for those who live around them.”

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

"We can reasonably assume that the selling prices for the properties would vary from £55,000 to £150,000 once renovated. We would spend around £35,000 renovating each.

"In 2011 there were 2,824 empty homes in the borough. The numbers have reduced significantly to 1,907 in 2020, 4.6 per cent of the overall housing stock. The number of empty homes is still higher than those in Lancashire(3.3 per cent)."