URGENT repairs are needed to preserve some of Burnley's most historic landmarks, which are in danger of collapse, according to town hall conservationists.

Several sites in the Weavers’ Triangle, including a number of grade II and locally listed buildings, are deemed to be ‘derelict’ or ‘poor’, a report to Burnley council’s executive shows.

The findings have emerged in an assessment of the Canal Conservation Area, which covers the former cotton weaving mills and sheds, Burnley Wharf and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal area.

Now councillors have been asked to consider enlisting the support of town hall lawyers to serve urgent works and repair notices on any ‘at risk’ building and to commission a new study into threatened structures.

Some legs of the conservation area, such as the stretch from Gannow house to Westgate Bridge, are deemed to be in good condition, especially the likes of Gannow House, Sandygate canal bridge and the various warehouses at Burnley Wharf.

But in the heart of the Triangle, Finsley Wharf, the Forge and Canal House are all considered to be in a derelict state, despite their protected status.

Similar assessments have been made of the Slater Terrace warehouse, built around 1860, Victoria Mill in Trafalgar Street and Belle Vue Mill on Westgate.

Environment official Hel-en Bailey said in an executive report: “Many of the statutory listed and locally listed buildings in the area are in a critical, derelict and poor condition.”

She has blamed a lack of investment in many of the 19th century landmarks, which has hastened the rate of decline, with many private developers believing they will not get a sufficient return on investments in the current economic climate.

Stopgap measures to remedy the most pressing concerns, in recent years, have also not assisted the former cotton heartland’s outlook, she believes.

Mrs Bailey added: “Gap sites have been created in the conservation area by the demolition of buildings in the past.

"Lack of investment means they are now vacant, derelict and overgrown.”

Councillors will be asked to authorise serving urgent works and repair notices on any ‘at risk’ building.

The executive, which meets in Tuesday, is also being urged to extend the conservation area’s boundaries, to safeguard more buildings.