Concerned police officers have issued a stark warning to youngsters over a dangerous derelict building.
Oswald House, on Rhyddings Street in Oswaldtwistle, has been empty for many years and officers fear it is now becoming a ‘playground’ for local children.
PCSO Julie Rosthorn told a recent area forum meeting: “We are having a lot of problems at the moment with Oswald House on Rhyddings Street. It’s a big derelict building.
“Kids are going in on a regular basis and putting themselves at serious risk because the building is dropping to bits.
“There are so many access points that it’s just attracting them like a playground.
“They have been in there smashing windows.
“There are no windows left to smash.”
PCSO Rosthorn said she had spoken with the council to find out the owner’s details.
She added: “The council have given him a time limit and that’s expired.
“They asked me to ring him as well.
“He has told me he will secure it in a few days.”
The late 19th century building was previously used as a doctor’s surgery and offices.
Planning permission was submitted to Hyndburn council in 2007 to transform the two-storey building into 24 apartments. The scheme was approved, however no works were started before the planning permission expired. The proposals were resubmitted again in 2010 only to be withdrawn.
Oswald House is currently being marketed by property estate agent Rightmove with a guide price of £75,000.
Coun Paul Cox, Hyndburn council’s portfolio holder with responsibility for environmental health, said: “Earlier this year the council served the owner of the building a notice under S79 of the Building Act 1984 requiring them to carry works to improve the building’s external appearance.
“The owner failed to comply with the requirements of the notice and we are now intending to take further legal action.
“We have recently been made aware that the building is open to access and we have taken steps to ensure that it is made secure”.