A “deathtrap” house owned by a paedophile pensioner jailed six years ago will be repossessed.
The derelict property on Coronation Road, Cleveleys, was lived in by a 70-year-old man who was found guilty of raping an 11-year-old girl in 2005.
During the past six years the building has been targeted by vandals, become a haven for squatters, and was described by residents as a “health hazard” after a slate tile smashed to the ground narrowly missing a pedestrian.
But this week Wyre Council confirmed it is progressing an enforced sale of the property which the man, who was recently released from prison, has been informed of.
A spokesman said: “Enforcement action has been undertaken at the property on Coronation Road by Wyre Council, most recently to remove a danger presented by slipped roof slates.
“The enforced sale and any other enforcement action necessary at the property is being co-ordinated by a task group, pulled together to bring about the property’s return to use and address any neighbourhood issues arising in the interim.
“The case is far from straightforward but Wyre Council is determined to return this and other long-term empty properties in Wyre back into use.
Jubilee ward councillor, David Walmsley, who was approached by members of the public expressing their concerns said he was pleased the house would be sold on.
He said: “Locals have been living with these problems for a long time, it is especially unfortunate the surrounding properties are holiday apartments as it does not show Cleveleys in its best light.
“I am very pleased the roof has been secured, safety was our primary concern and I hope that down the line we can sell the house to someone who will care for it and fulfil its potential.”
But long-suffering residents say they remain sceptical as they have been promised action before.
Geoff Dawber, owner of nearby Highcliffe Holiday Apartments, said: “We were the first to get a three-star rating from Visit Britain but how do the council expect us to run our business.
“Visitors come here and say they love the apartments but hate the derelict building at the back.
“Every year I tell them Wyre Council has promised to do something but next year arrives and nothing has been done.
“They spent millions on a new Promenade yet just 50 yards away is a mini Beirut.
“I hope something is done.”