NEIGHBOURS within a regeneration scheme have been left in limbo after the sale of two homes fell through.
Houses in Pendle Street, off Willows Lane, Accrington have faced rows of boarded-up, empty and dilapidated houses for four years.
While regeneration schemes elsewhere are finally being completed, the plan to demolish a row of two dozen houses on one side of Pendle Street has fallen flat.
Hyndburn Council say they are considering compulsory purchase orders of two properties in the row, one which is rented to a family, which they say the owner refuses to sell.
The owner of the two remaining unsold properties, Accrington man Liaquat Ali, is out of the country on holiday but his brother Mohammed Mahroof, 46, of Richmond Street said he had tried to negotiate with the council.
Mr Mahroof said: “My brother agreed a price with the council and it was all arranged. But when they changed the plans, the price changed too and he is getting messed around.
“Ideally my brother would like to see the properties repaired as they have done across the street.
“If other areas have had investment, why not this area?”
However Hyndburn Council said the row is beyond repair.
Leader Miles Parkinson said; “The Pendle Street block is being acquired for demolition because the houses are unfit and beyond economical repair.
“The council has been unable to come to an agreement to purchase two houses within the block and therefore considering a compulsory purchase order to take possession.”
Frustrated residents say they have had no communication from the council on what they plan to do with the area.
Mr Ralph Jones said: “We’ve not heard anything about what’s going on.
“My son and daughter visit, they can’t believe those houses are still there after all this time.
“It’s a problem and it was about time it was sorted out.
“We’ve heard all sorts of rumours — it’s going to be a play area, or it will just be left empty, but we hear nothing from the council.”
Another resident, Tauqueer Fazal, said: “It’s not that we’ve heard only a little, we’ve heard nothing at all.
“If anyone wanted to sell their house and a viewer asked what was going on over the road, the answer would be: ‘I don’t know’.
Coun Parkinson said they would be in touch with householders as the plan progressed.
He added: “No after-use for the cleared site has been decided but it is the council’s intention to consult with local residents and community groups.”