Measures to help bring more empty homes across Leyland back into use have been given the go-ahead.

Plans to drop council tax discounts on properties that have been vacant for more than six months have been proposed in an effort to get them back into use, sooner rather than later.

The changes mean that houses that have been empty for more than six months and less than two years will no longer be exempt from council tax and will pay 100 per cent of the charge.

Properties that are empty for more than two years will face an additional premium of 50 per cent on top of the council tax charge.

Any additional income raised in South Ribble will be ring-fenced to assist in providing support for housing issues.

A total of 17 empty properties are already on target to be completed and put back into use as part of a two year project in partnership with Methodist Action.

To date, four of these properties are complete and now occupied.

Councillor Cliff Hughes, said: “We will work with homeowners to support and encourage them to make their properties fit for purpose again, and we will utilise the most appropriate options, whether that is through the empty homes grant programme in partnership with Methodist Action or taking enforcement action where reasonable negotiations fail.”