NEW homes planned for an eyesore town centre site could be ready in two years, according to a council leader.

A planning application for 58 new homes in the former Arthur Street area of Barrow was unanimously agreed by Barrow Council’s planning committee.

The site had stood empty since 2012, so the new development will breath new life into the area.

And Cllr Pidduck, who met with developer Gleeson Regeneration Ltd’s site managers yesterday, said they were eager to get work underway.

He said: “It is a brilliant result for the town of Barrow and the residents who have waited years for this.

“I spoke to the site managers and they are keen to get started as soon as possible.

“They told me they want to start work and have all the houses finished within a two-year period."

Cllr Pidduck said he has high hopes the properties will be in high demand as the developers were providing homes wanted by the community.

He said: “This plan is excellent because 40 per cent of the two bedroom houses will be affordable starter homes. Young people want semi-detached starter homes and this area gives them that opportunity.”

However, the development has not been without its controversy. Of the 71 homes in Arthur Street bought under a Compulsory Purchase Order, the average price paid was £40,599.

Residents who were forced to leave their family homes to make way for new houses were paid on average just £40,000 under a compulsory purchase scheme.

Statistics available through the Land Registry reveal that between 2005 and 2010 a total of 71 houses in Arthur Street in Barrow were sold. Most of the purchases were part of a Barrow Council-led scheme in 2007 to demolish around 160 terraced houses in Arthur Street, Sutherland Street and Marsh Street in a bid to attract a house builder to build on the site.

Gleeson Regeneration snapped up the site for £302,000 and plan to build 23 properties with two-bedrooms, 15 three-bedroom semi-detached houses, 17 three-bedroom detached homes, and three properties with four bedrooms.

MJ Gleeson has already completed a number of similar projects with 72 per cent of their customers being first-time buyers and 46 per cent earning minimum wage. Mortgage costs for one of their two-bedroom properties average at around £300 a month. A spokeswoman for Gleeson Homes said: “The Government has backed the Help to Buy scheme which means that many of our homes are typically cheaper than local rent levels. This gives first time buyers the opportunity to take that first step onto the ladder.”