ANGRY residents in fear of losing their homes have set up a petition to try and stop the demolition of hundreds of houses.
Plans to improve West Accrington under proposals for the second phase of Project Phoenix - Hyndburn Council's housing regeneration scheme, funded by the Government through Elevate East Lancashire - include the possible demolition of up to 300 houses.
In three of the four suggested proposals, most of the houses on Steiner Street, Portland Street and Frederick Street would be knocked down.
This has angered many of the residents, in particular Jill Cotter and Amanda Hugman, along with brothers Tahiar Yasin and Shazrad Karim, who have started a petition.
So far they have around 200 signatures.
Mrs Cotter, 51, who is studying carpentry and joinery at Preston College, lives on Portland Street.
She said: "One of the residents has seen houses being boarded up this week, but the final decision on which houses are to be demolished is not supposed to have been made yet.
"It seems as though decisions have been made but the residents of the affected areas are not being given chance to put forward alternative suggestions in order to save their houses."
Councillor Tony Dobson, Cabinet portfolio holder for housing and regeneration, said that as far as he was aware they were still in the consultation stage.
He said: "We will take on board the views of the residents and they will be taken into consideration when the final decision is made, which will hopefully be in the near future."
Mrs Cotter bought her house just eight months ago and has so far had a new kitchen and bathroom fitted, central heating installed, plastering and redecoration in the lounge and double glazing fitted throughout.
She said: "When I bought the house I had a search done but at no stage throughout the purchase process was I told of the possibility of it being demolished.
"This has caused me enormous stress."
A major concern of the residents is that the money they receive from the suggested Compulsory Purchase Orders made on their houses will not be enough for them to buy another house in the area.
However, Councillor Dobson said: "There are 2,000 too many houses in Hyndburn, so we want to take out the over-capacity.
"We intend to filter people from houses that are currently in a bad condition to spare houses in other residential streets in the borough, to build up complete communities."
A final decision is due to hopefully be made this month.