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Empty house left to rot

AN ANGRY Accrington mother has expressed her disgust at the vandalised state of the house next door.

AN ANGRY Accrington mother has expressed her disgust at the vandalised state of the house next door.

Billie-Jean Heaton, 32, of Belfield Road, Accrington, said her next-door neighbour's house has been abandoned since April 2003 and was a former drugs den.

Since then, it has become a target for vandals who have spray- painted the walls, smashed the windows and dumped rubbish in the back yard.

Mrs Heaton, who has an eight-year-old daughter, said: "We kept hearing noises from the attic and we realised it had mice and now they have spread to other houses on the street.

"The back yard is full of dog poo and junk which is attracting flies. The door has been kicked in and at one point eggs were thrown at the house. There is graffiti on the walls and my daughter has her bedroom curtains closed so she doesn't have to look at it.''

Mrs Heaton complained to the council, which set a deadline of 28 March for the landlord to clean up the property. She said that since then nothing has been done.

Mrs Heaton said: "My husband Paul is a builder and he told the landlord he would help him fix it but he's not done anything about it. He doesn't have to look at it every day. It seems to be a case of out of sight and out of mind.

"It wouldn't take him long to get rid of the graffiti and clear up the rubbish. It would take about half a morning at most.''

This week the landlord of the house said: "After the previous tenant left, there have been problems at the house. People keep breaking in and I have had to board up the windows. It doesn't really need that much doing to it, although it does look a bit of a mess from outside.

"I have decided to sell the property and I have already found a buyer who will rent it out. I am confident the deal should go through in the next month or so, and then it will be up to him to do the place up.''


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist