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Local authority to compulsory purchase empty homes

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Local authority to compulsory purchase empty homes

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Development, Housing

Warning over UK's one million empty homes Warning over UK's one million empty homes

A council is to compulsory purchase three derelict properties and bring them back into use.

The London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames wants to reduce the number of empty and dilapidated homes in the area.

Under Section 17 of the Housing Act 1985, Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) action was given the green light at a Cabinet meeting as a way of ensuring that the three empty properties are brought back into use - rather than sitting dormant and becoming a target for vandalism and squatters.

The council says that officers attempted on a number of occasions to contact the owners of the properties to discover their intentions to bringing them back into use.

Information was provided on grants and loans in order to assist them in doing so and to avoid enforcement action, but no practical action has been forthcoming by the owners.

Cllr Nicola Urquhart, Cabinet Member for Adult Services and Housing, said: “We’ve made every attempt to assist the owners of the properties in the hope they would bring these eyesore houses back into use and to improve the surrounding environment for residents, lessen the chances of vandalism and provide accommodation to those requiring it, and therefore improve the quality of life for everyone.

“However, given the neglect by the current owners and their continued failure to produce proposals or to take action to renovate and return the houses to use, the case for the Compulsory Purchase Orders is strong. It also has the advantage that if sold, the Council will be able to obtain a commitment from any new owner to restore a property for use as housing within a reasonable time-scale.”

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