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More empty homes to be brought back to life

Release date: 
Wednesday, 7 July, 2021

Burnley Council is set to bring another group of long-term vacant houses back into use through its empty homes programme.

The council’s executive is recommended to agree the compulsory purchase of a further 15 properties in the borough.

If agreed, the houses will be acquired for re-sale and, once renovated, reoccupied with the proceeds being re-invested back into buying and refurbishing further properties.

Through the council’s vacant homes initiative and empty homes programme more than 160 empty houses have been acquired, refurbished and re-sold or re-let. A further 90 houses are set to be refurbished over the coming 12 months.

In addition, more than 100 properties have also been brought back into use thanks to the council’s intervention through supporting landlords and owners with loans to renovate their properties.

The number of empty properties in the borough has been steadily falling in recent years, with the empty homes programme playing an important role in achieving that, but the council recognises there is still more work to be done.

Councillor John Harbour, executive member for housing, said: “Improving our neighbourhoods by bringing properties that have been empty for years back into use is a challenge we’re tackling.

“Long-term empty properties can cause a blight on our communities and attract crime and anti-social behaviour. By bringing empty houses back into use we’re helping to improve the quality of life for those who live around them.”

Efforts are being made to contact the property owners and to reach an agreement on acquiring the houses. Using compulsory purchase powers is a last resort after everything else has been tried. If the council didn’t step in these properties would fall further into disrepair.

The properties covered by the report are in Boundary Street, Brush Street, Caernarvon Avenue, Fifth Avenue, Fir Street, Grange Street, Harley Street, Laburnum Close, Lindsay Street, Pritchard Street, Ruskin Avenue, Padiham, Spencer Street, Padiham, Tarleton Street and Waterbarn Street (addresses in Burnley unless otherwise stated).

A report will go to the council’s executive on 14th July.

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