The owners of Preston’s former BHS store have been ordered to board up the premises after it became a haven for town centre beggars.
Freemont Ltd, the owners of the building on Fishergate must make it secure within a by next Monday.
If they fail to carry out the instructions, council chiefs will issue a community protection notice giving them another seven days to comply.
After that, the council will carry out the work and charge Freemont. Beggars have been using the front of the old department store.
And, despite claiming to be homeless, they have failed to take up any offers of accommodation from outreach staff at the Foxton Centre.
CouPeter Moss, deputy leader and cabinet member for planning and regulations, on Preston City Council, said: “Getting to this point has taken a significant amount of time and effort for all parties.
“Some people who beg on the streets often already have housing and refuse support from ourselves and partners. Therefore we continue to ask members of the public to support the great local charities in the city that work with vulnerable people, instead of giving money to those on the street.
“Our main objective is to come to a suitable outcome for the city with the building’s owner, and look to the future opportunities for this site.”
The store closed two years ago.