A 'NEIGHBOUR from hell' could become the first in the borough to face a spell behind bars thanks to new council by-laws.

More than 30 residents from an Euxton estate have petitioned Chorley Council pleading for swift action following allegations of anti-social behaviour, including violence and abusive conduct towards nearby tenants, all-night parties, drunkenness and loud music.

One frustrated resident told the Citizen that police had been called out SEVEN times in one night following a drunken brawl involving a 31-year-old male.

These revelations have now sparked an on-going council investigation into the man, which could see him face a hefty fine or even a short term in prison.

And as part of the on-going council probe, residents living nearby have been asked to document his actions through video camera footage, photographs and diaries - which could prove invaluable evidence in court.

"We have been aware of the concerns made by the residents of Euxton, and we are very concerned about the effect of nuisance neighbours on the wider community", explained Steve Lomas, Chorley Council's head of housing services.

Although the council has yet to test its new powers under the Crime and Disorder Bill, Mr Lomas insists that problem tenants in council property and other local troublemakers could soon find themselves facing the full force of the new legislation.

Thanks to new powers granted by government ministers, local authorities together with police can now swoop on noisy or nuisance neighbours - putting a stop to anti-social behaviour with threats of fines, court injunctions and even prison.

Euxton North councillor Danny Gee now wants to see Chorley Council make full use of its new powers.

"If you've got bad neighbours it can ruin your quality of life." he said, insisting that council officers must respond quickly to complaints by local people.

"If residents have a problem it is up to the officers to do something about it."

Other new powers in the bill allow councils to issue a night time curfew for young people, in the hope of preventing vandalism and other crimes.

The council also has the power to issue an exclusion order, preventing a named person from entering a specific area.

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