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Lancashire borough bids to bring back licensing and raise standards

Blackburn selective licensing proposal

Blackburn with Darwen Council is consulting on a new selective licensing scheme covering 1,266 properties on the edge of its town centre.

The proposed scheme includes 42 streets in the Hollins Bank area and extends across Ewood and Mill Hill & Moorgate wards, including a small area of Blackburn central ward, covering some previously licensed locations in Infirmary and Griffin.

High turnover

The Lancashire borough’s large and growing private rented sector has about 54,776 (38%) properties and a council report explains that many have a high turnover of residents. As a result, private properties are frequently vacant for short periods while long-term empty homes and shops undermine regeneration initiatives. The 2009 Borough House Condition survey found that 45% of its total stock failed to meet the Decent Homes Standard.

Increased complaints

It adds: “The management practices of some landlords and the anti-social behaviour of their tenants has caused problems for several years, resulting in increased complaints to the council. This has contributed to neighbourhood decline. Selective licensing will help raise management standards, remove poorer landlords and help to tackle antisocial behaviour.”

The council has previously introduced five selective licensing schemes, the last of which ended two years ago. The new selective licensing scheme falls within the top 5% of the most deprived areas in the country, where landlords will need to pay out £724 for the new five-year licence.

All landlords have been encouraged to take part in the consultation which runs until 26th July.


Selective licensing
Decent homes standard
Anti social behaviour