Residents on a quiet Fleetwood street say they are delighted that a run-down bungalow they say is ruining their neighbourhood has finally been tidied up – after 16 years.
Long-suffering householders on Kirkstone Avenue, Larkholme, have for years been demanding action from Wyre Council to force improvements to the detached bungalow, which is beset by overgrown gardens and crumbling brickwork.
But because the land is private, Wyre says the issue is not so straightforward.
However, after renewed calls for the council to sort it out, the authority has now taken action.
After issuing the absentee owner with a statutory notice in January, council gardeners moved to clear the unsightly thicket of bushes and brambles before it could it begin blooming into an even more untidy mass.
The owner of the house is understood to have taken up residence at another property in Cleveleys 16 years ago, and the Larkholme house has been left abandoned ever since.
The willow tree in the neighbour’s front garden blocked the drains and caused a flood in both our back gardens last year
As well as its untidy appearance, the neglected garden has caused problems for immediate neighbours and many feared it might attract rats.
The owner is to be sent a bill by Wyre for the work carried out.
Relieved neighbour Claire Preston said: “It has been terrible, to be honest.
“The willow tree in the neighbour’s front garden blocked the drains and caused a flood in both our back gardens last year. At least now it looks a lot tidier. This is a nice neighbourhood and it was ruining the street. Now you can actually see the house!”
Alan Marsh, another neighbour who lives further along the street, said: “We’re all pleased the council has finally sorted it out.
“It is such a waste of a lovely bungalow, but the main thing is that the garden has been cut back and tidied up.”
A Wyre Council spokeswoman said: “A statutory notice under Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, which requires the property owner to take steps to remedy the condition of the land, was served on October 17 with compliance required by January 17.
“We have now taken steps to have the work, including clearance of the driveway, garden and gutterings, carried out by a private contractor and recovering the costs from the homeowner.
“It’s always encouraging to hear that our actions have helped a neighbourhood. Dealing with empty homes is a long and complex process as the circumstances of the owners are rarely straightforward, so we want to thank nearby residents for their patience.
“Even though there are limitations on what powers the council has, we are determined to stop empty properties deteriorating and having a negative impact on the local area.”
The owner of the house was unavailable for comment.