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15,000 homes to face demolition

HYNDBURN Council is hoping a £200m Government programme to rebuild housing in the borough will transform the face of run-down communities.

HYNDBURN Council is hoping a £200m Govern-ment programme to rebuild housing in the borough will transform the face of run-down communities.

The Elevate East Lancashire partnership is to spearhead a 15-year programme to transform some of the area's most deprived neighbourhoods.

It could mean the demolition of as many as 15,000 houses across Accrington, Church, Oswaldtwistle and Clayton-le-Moors, where areas are run-down and market demand is low. But the council is confident the scheme will benefit the whole of Hyndburn by bringing jobs and further investment into the area.

It is hoped that the benefits of co-ordinated investment will boost housing demand and community confidence in neighbouring areas and that the momentum of neighbourhood renewal will gradually spread across Hyndburn.

The partnership will also allow the council to transfer some of the existing main funding programmes to other parts of the borough such as Great Harwood and Rishton.

Director of Hyndburn FIRST, Nigel Rix, said: "Now that the new Government resources are coming in it is going to be possible to redirect council money into townships like Great Harwood and Rishton, where there are small pockets of low-demand and poor-condition housing."

Councillor Mrs Jean Battle, Cabinet portfolio holder for housing, added: "We are conscious that Rishton and Great Harwood need support and they won't be left out. It's not just purely housing, it's the economic regeneration and creating a better environment for people. It's the whole package."

Councillor Mrs Battle and Mr Rix went on to say that the regeneration programme would also encourage outside investment from private companies.

Mr Rix added: "This is a long-term plan. It is not going to pay off overnight, there has to be patience and perseverance."

The first action plan for co-ordinated development will be prepared in partnership with residents over the next 12 months. Hyndburn Council is in talks with private investors about the redevelopment of cleared sites.


Stuart Pike
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