Burnley Council agree on more empty homes purchases

Tuesday, 9 July 2024 19:19

By Bill Jacobs - Local Democracy Reporting Service

A LOCAL authority is to buy seven more empty homes in its borough.

Burnley Council’s executive was recommended to rubber stamp starting the procedures for compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) for the properties.

Five are in Burnley and two in Padiham.

The move is part of the authority’s drive to cut anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and arson at vacant houses.

The seven homes to be compulsorily purchases are at 3 Dragon Street, Padiham; 128 Briercliffe Road, Burnley; 5 Morley Street, Padiham; 3 Whittaker Close, Burnley; 2 Fairbairn Avenue, Burnley; 12 Jubilee Street, Burnley; and 158 Oxford Road, Burnley.

The properties will be renovated and then sold or disposed of to social housing provider Calico Homes.

A report to the executive by housing officer John Killion says: “The owners/personal representatives of these properties have been contacted and have either not responded at all or have given no reasonable proposals for renovating the property or bringing it back into housing use.

“The majority of the properties are long-term vacant properties being empty, in one case, for five years.

“Some of the properties have complex issues surrounding ownership, and without intervention by the council through acquisition by agreement or CPO the properties may remain vacant, continue to deteriorate, attract anti-social behaviour, flytipping and arson, all of which cause fear in local residents, resulting in a declining neighbourhood.

“Since the inception of the programme in 2004, the number of empty properties reached its height in 2009 when there were 3,232 empties.

“Since then, the number has fallen to nearly half the numbers reported in 2009.

“Last year the figure was 1,731, a decrease from the year before of 1,867.

“The number of long-term empties (over six months empty) in the borough continues to reduce from 1,139 in 2017 to 678 in 2023, albeit with a slight increase in the figure from 2022 of 658.

“These properties are the ones the empty homes programme targets as they tend to cause the greatest problems and are unlikely to be brought back into use without the council’s intervention.”

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