Row of derelict houses set to go

Empty properties near Berry's, Leyland
Empty properties near Berry's, Leyland

A row of derelict homes are set to be demolished, the owners have confirmed.

The eight homes on Golden Hill Lane are owned by C & W Berry building merchants next door, and have been empty for around eight years.

Initial plans were for the properties to be pulled down and for the store to be extended, but that never materialised after the recession hit towards the end of the 2000s.

Now though, managing director for Berry’s, David Berry, has announced that plans are still in the pipeline to replace the homes for commercial use, and early discussions are currently taking place.

He told the Guardian: “The outline plans were drawn up and we wanted to extend the main shop, but we could see the recession was looming.

“We became very conservative in our outlook and very prudent in our decisions, and by 2009 came, we were pleased that we hadn’t over-stretched ourselves.

“The construction business was also hit by the recession, so our focus was on running the business as efficiently as possible.

“Now though, we very much feel that there have been some green shoots in the economy, especially over the last 18 months, and new plans are being drawn up now.

“We’re in the preliminary discussion stage with the council, which we want to do before we submit a planning application.

“I’m not in a position yet to give any timescales.

“But we are working on it with the intension of asking for permission to demolish the homes and use the site for commercial purposes, within the lines of our existing business.”

The homes were initially occupied by workers from Berry’s who rented the accommodation.

By 2006, nobody was living there, which is when the company decided to go ahead with drawing up expansion plans.

Mr Berry added: “We are conscious that the houses are in a prominent position and homes are unsightly when they are empty.

“We have kept the gardens tidy though and there have been no vandalism problems.”