Pendle’s 1,450 empty homes

7 North Street, Colne.

7 North Street, Colne.

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A total of 1,450 Pendle properties still remain vacant, it can be revealed.

In Nelson there are currently 643 empty residential houses, while there are 298 in Colne, 205 in West Craven, 198 in Brierfield and Reedley, and 106 in Barrowford and Western Parishes.

And while the numbers are significantly less than in 2008/09 and remain below the target in the Sustainable Communities Strategy, Pendle Council is working to reduce the figures even further.

In a report submitted to every Pendle area committee, private sector housing manager Paul Lloyd said: “These [vacant] houses are a wasted resource, attract anti-social behaviour and detract from the amenity of the area.

“The actions of the council over the last 12 months has resulted in 80 long term vacant properties being removed from the list across the borough.”

Mr Lloyd goes on to state that “there are still some problem areas across the borough”, and later lists all “priority vacant properties” for each ward.

These are as follows:

• Nelson — 170 Pine Street, 22 Hartley Street, 109 Pine Street, 24 Lancaster Gate and 34 Beresford Street.

• Colne — 7 North Street, 28 West Street, 50 Windsor Street, 13 Chapel Street and Hendley Court.

• West Craven — 13 Colne Road, 14 Rook Street, 35 Lower West Avenue, 22 Railway Street and 2 Albion Street.

• Brierfield and Reedley — 13 Oxford Street, 11 Oxford Street, 7 Oxford Street, Four Oaks Residential Home, 29 Commercial Street and Every Street.

• Barrowford and Western Parishes — 45 Higher Causeway, 1 Gisburn Road and 462 Wheatley Lane Road.

Following the announcement, Leader of Pendle Council Coun. Joe Cooney admitted that the council still had “work to do”, but added that “we’ll continue to tackle the problem of empty homes”.

Coun. Cooney, who has additional responsibility for housing and regeneration, added: “We have made great progress in reducing the number of empty properties from well over 2,000 a couple of years ago.”

According to Sgt Tim Hitchens, of Nelson Police, unoccupied houses often attract thieves, who target the metal pipework and central heating systems within the property.

He said: “Thefts of this nature cause problems for both the owners and their neighbours. If a central heating boiler or copper pipe work is stolen, the resulting water leak can cause untold damage to that and adjoining properties.

“Targeting of empty houses is not just night time crime, it can occur at any time of the day.

“Offenders will turn up in high visibility clothing and work boots, giving the impression that they have a legitimate reason for being there.

“If local residents sees anything suspicious at a property they know is vacant, I would urge them to contact police immediately on 101.”

More announcements on the situation of empty homes in Pendle are expected to be made in the coming weeks.