RESIDENTS are celebrating after it was announced that two empty and derelict blocks of houses are to be demolished.

The properties in Bright Street, Colne, have been dubbed an “eyesore” by householders in the area.

Pendle Council has now approved a contract for knocking down the vac-ant and dilapidated buildings.

A local councillor said the action was “long overdue” and called for work to begin as soon as possible.

The demolition work is part of the regeneration scheme for the Church-fields area.

Pendle Council has been slowly emptying and buying up the houses for the past three years.

A new housing and a garden area will be built on the site of the houses.

There will also be renovations to the backs of Newmarket Street and Mason Street, located on either side of the empty blocks.

Scott Meadway, 20, of Mason Street, said: “They look a bit of a mess at the moment and it makes other houses nearby look a mess too.

“Other streets have been spruced up too and hopefully they will improve Mason Street soon. It makes the whole neighbourhood look better.”

Kevin Whelan, 39, also of Mason Street, added: “The whole street's a bit of an eyesore at the moment so it will be good when they knock it down because it looks so out of place. But it all depends on what they put up in its place. Then we will know whether or not it's been worthwhile.”

Dorothy Lord, chairman of Colne Town Council, which represents Hor-sfield Ward, welcomed the planned demolition.

She said: “Empty blocks like this cause all kinds of problems and blight the very area which the council is looking to improve.

“Given the state they are now in, the sooner they are down the better.

“The task for everyone now is to finish the job of getting the sur-rounding streets up to scratch and get the new housing built as soon as possible.”