AN empty house has become a magnet for fly-tippers.

Neighbours claim the three-bedroom house in Central Avenue, Farnworth, has been left in a “disgraceful” state.

Bolton at Home said the house could not be lived in, but could form part of a larger development earmarked for the area.

Resident Keith Whitworth, aged 76, said: “It would seem there is no shortage of three-bedroom houses in Farnworth and the surrounding areas. This house has been left in this disgraceful state for about 14 months by Bolton at Home.

“This house is a slum in the middle of our avenue.”

His wife Margaret, aged 74, added: “I would say about 70 per cent of houses in the avenue are privately owned. We want to know more about this new development.”

Kerry Mulroney, a play specialist, aged 42, has lived in Central Avenue for 40 years. She said: “There’s a family somewhere that needs that property.”

Susan Arnott, a customer service adviser, aged 51, added: “It’s just making this street look like an eyesore. We are all paying council tax and yet we have to look at that.”

Glen Hamer, aged 51, said: “It’s so annoying, because there are people being told there’s no social housing available, and yet this property is left empty for ages.”

Bolton at Home said there was a shortage of affordable housing in Bolton.

A spokesman said: “That’s why we don’t like any of our homes sitting empty. We’re as committed to bringing them back into use quickly as we are to new-build and acquisitions.

“This particular property sits on the entrance to our former works depot and we are currently exploring potential options for this site, which could include this house.”

Bolton at Home said the house would need “significant investment” to bring it back into use.

The spokesman added: “Including it as part of potential new development, eligible for funding, may realise a better option.

“We apologise to neighbouring customers for the time it has remained empty and it becoming a target for minor fly-tipping.

“We’ve recently cleared the garden and we will update tenants on our plans as feasibility studies progress.”