Derelict houses that have been empty for years could soon be occupied as calls are made for action to be taken over their unsightly state.

The two properties on the corner of Marlborough Road on Westridge Cross were interlinked with the Pennyfeathers development.

The houses were originally bought so the sites could be used as part of the highway widening to accommodate the increase in traffic from all the major developments proposed nearby.

While planning permission has been granted for the work to take place, it has not been carried out.

Isle of Wight County Press:

The major 904 house development, which would have been situated behind Smallbrook Lane and stretched along near to Busy Bee Garden Centre, has since been refused and in the months that followed, local ward councillor Michael Lilley has called for enforcement action to get the properties tidied up and, he hoped, occupied.

Cllr Lilley has been speaking to officers at the Isle of Wight Council who said they would look at taking enforcement action in six months if nothing had happened.

At a Ryde Town Council meeting earlier this month, concerned residents raised the matter saying the timeframe was up and asked for something to be done.

Following the meeting, Cllr Lilley said he had continually tried to get the matter addressed and has had conversations about compulsory purchasing them, potentially in partnership with a local housing association so they could provide rented accommodation.

Isle of Wight County Press: The Westridge Cross junction with the two properties either side.The Westridge Cross junction with the two properties either side. (Image: IWCP)

He said the Pennyfethers development — first proposed nearly ten years ago — was a fantasy project which has "created a real nightmare" for the neighbours of the houses on Marlborough Road,

Cllr Lilley said the properties are a "damaging eyesore" for visitors and residents.

Now a spokesperson, on behalf of the Pennyfeathers team, has said initial work on the properties has commenced and they are in the process of being sold to local families.

The spokesperson said: "The Pennyfeathers team are looking to reach out to local councillors and the Isle of Wight Council in the coming weeks to update them on the works and once completion dates have been confirmed."

In its budget for the coming year, Ryde Town Council has agreed to employ the services of a planning enforcement officer.

Cllr Lilley said he wanted to see the houses occupied in less than a year.