Blackburn with Darwen Council is to take action to buy an empty and neglected semi-detached home.

It's development boss Cllr Quesir Mahmood has started compulsory purchase order (CPO) proceeding to buy 17 Lisbon Drive in Darwen.

In a report to colleagues he says; "As part of the council’s commitment to bringing empty properties back into use, this property has been evaluated using the priority scoring matrix.

"It scores highly due to the fact that the property has been empty since June 2011 and is currently in a poor state of repair.

"This semi-detached property is situated in the Darwen South ward of the Borough and is set in a residential street consisting a mixture of terraced and semi-detached properties.

"This two storey comprises one living room plus a kitchen situated on the ground floor with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom at the first floor level.

"The property has been empty for over 12 years and is showing signs of disrepair.

"The external condition is poor and neglected, with render coming off the front and rear elevations, slates are hanging off the roof, parts of the front and rear gutters are missing and a large crack has formed at the base of the lower gable end of the property.

"The property is subject of frequent complaints regarding its condition from both local councillors and local residents, including the general poor condition and appearance of the building; the fact the property continues to remain empty; and dampness/disrepair, which is affecting the neighbouring property.

"Substantial efforts have been made to contact the owner to encourage him to bring the property back into use.

"The council has tried to correspond with the owner since 2016 and on numerous occasions he has advised that he was residing at the property despite it remaining empty.

"The owner has engaged intermittently and previously stipulated that the property would be refurbished but minimal renovation work has been undertaken and the property continues to remain in a poor condition which is having a negative impact on the local neighbourhood..

"It is therefore recommended that approval to make and submit a CPO to the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is given as a last resort, to ensure that this property is satisfactorily refurbished and brought back into use in a timely manner."