BURNLEY Council’s executive committee has voted to extend a scheme aimed at improving housing standards.

Selective licensing for landlords, which already operates in the Trinity area, will be implemented in Queensgate and Gannow from June after councillors approved the move.

The scheme requires landlords to pass a ‘fit and proper person’ test, and prove that they have appropriate arrangements in place to properly manage their tenancies.

In total, the Queensgate and Gannow areas include 2,585 properties, of which 1,220 are privately rented. Around 15 per cent of all properties are empty – double the borough average.

A consultation conducted by the borough council found that more than nine out of 10 residents wanted selective licensing in their area, while more than three-quarters of landlords didn’t.

Coun Howard Baker, who declared an interest in the eventual decision and did not vote, said the scheme had made a ‘positive difference’ in Trinity.

The executive member for housing and environment added: “We want to continue to work with landlords and local people to improve the area so that people want to live there, thereby cutting the number of empty houses and pushing up demand.”