Residents fearing an infestation of rats as derelict land is cleared to make way for dozens of new homes have been reassured by community leaders.
Developers Redrow have begun clearing land off Station Road, Poulton, to make way for the housing development, including relaying a gas main.
Neighbours have said there is a problem with vermin on the site though and are fearing that rats could be “looking for a new home” as construction begins.
The land, on the corner of Station Road and Breck Road, has been derelict for years despite plans being approved for housing on the spot.
Now Environmental Health officers have moved in to monitor the area.
Coun Peter Gibson, ward councillor for Breck, said: “When I heard Redrow were moving on to the site I got in contact with our planners who contacted Environmental Health to bait the site to see what rodents there are.
“We did bait the site last November but nothing was taken, but rats can come back so we are baiting again to see what activity there is and then we’d expect them to clear that up.”
Lesley Middleton, chairman of Poulton Forum, said residents welcomed the development of the site which has stood empty for years and felt reassured the rat problem would be addressed.
She said: “A few people had a problem for a while. We just didn’t want the vermin to up camp and move elsewhere.
“It’s wonderful something is finally being done there.”
Coun Gibson added: “It has been a mess for some time, just from Redrow cleaning it up it looks better so it will look a lot better.”
A spokesman for Redrow said: “We’ve consulted with local residents about the building work and enlisted the specialist services of an environmental company.
“We’re now on site and reclamation works are underway.
“This development is set to transform a locally well-known piece of derelict land into a desirable location featuring high quality family homes.”
Construction of 39 homes is set to start in January 2016, to be complete by summer.