MORE than £300,000 has been put aside by the council to buy three derelict flats it once owned so they can be demolished and redeveloped.

Barnsley Council is being forced to submit compulsory purchase orders for the flats on Harriet Close, which were sold to a private investor in 2003, because it can't come to an agreement on price.

Residents on neighbouring Mount Vernon Avenue said the block became rundown soon after it was sold and became a haven for anti-social behaviour.

Negotiations have led to the council already buying back 11 of the flats but three still remain the ownership of absentee landlords, which is stalling the council's plans to flatten them and build six, two bedroom houses in their place.

A council report states it has a budget of £310,000 to buy the remaining flats and wants to demolish all 14 and hand the site over to South Yorkshire Housing Association for work to start.