MORE empty homes and building are set to be brought back into use after Central Beds Councillors approved the policy at a meeting this week.
Central Beds Council’s Executive approved plans to bring even more empty houses and buildings back into use, at a meeting on Tuesday.
A council spokesman said: “Properties that are empty for long periods often blight their neighbourhoods and can become magnets for criminal or unsociable behaviour, can decrease the value of neighbouring properties and are frequently a major source of distress for neighbours.”
The council says its empty homes strategy is designed to tackle these issues and return unwanted, unused and unloved houses and buildings back into use, to help meet the needs of people requiring accommodation in Central Bedfordshire.
Since the strategy was approved in 2010, more than 40 long term empty homes have been returned to occupation and earlier this year, the council successfully submitted a bid for £200,000 of Government funding to bring more empty homes back into use.
Councillors also approved plans at the meeting, which will enable Central Beds to increase its use of high level enforcement action, including compulsory purchase orders, to tackle the most troublesome empty homes and buildings.
A top ten list of priority empty homes needing attention has been drawn up based on factors, including, length of time the property has been empty, number of complaints received about the property, level of impact upon the surrounding area and the likelihood of the property attracting anti-social behaviour.
Councillor Carole Hegley, executive member for social care, health and housing, at Central Beds said: “This is a real success story for the council, and shows that when we take decisive action we can make a real difference.
“Getting an empty house back into use, is a ‘win win’ situation, with benefits for everyone involved – families on the housing waiting list, local neighbours and residents, and long-term empty home owners. This approach is also proven to be more cost effective.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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