LONG-delayed demolition work for one of Burnley’s ‘gateway’ routes is now finally under way after years of campaigning.

An arson-hit block on Accrington Road has tormented borough council regeneration chiefs for nearly five years. But the wreckers have been called in after a compulsory purchase order was finally signed last August to bulldoze the parade, once homes to houses, a number of takeaways and a cycle shop.

An original planning permission to build 111 homes by borough housing development partner Keepmoat, as part of a wider south-west Burnley regeneration initiative, was approved in June 2011, incorporating land bounded by Accrington Road, Smirthwaite Street, Howard Street and Perth Street.

Other remaining properties in Perth Street, Hargher Street and Burdett Street will also be razed as part of the project, with 27 properties going in total. Coun Howard Baker, the borough council’s housing and environment cabinet member, who also represents Trinity ward, where the properties are located, said: “This is good news for nearby residents and the area as a whole.

“It’s part of a wider programme of regeneration in south-west Burnley to create good quality, reasonably-priced new homes in a thriving community.”

Fire ripped through the Accrington Road block in 2009 and the properties have latterly been surrounded by fencing for security reasons.

Keepmoat has already finished earlier phases of the scheme, with new family homes fronting Accrington Road and a sprawling estate created opposite on land between the route and the M65.