Council is given green light to negotiate the purchase of eyesore empty propertiesPublished Wednesday, 13th July 2016
Rotherham Council has announced plans to buy 24 long-term derelict properties to refurbish and let as Council homes.
The decision to begin negotiations was agreed at the Council's Cabinet/Commissioners' decision making meeting this week.
The eyesore properties on Churchill Avenue, Maltby – currently part of the privately owned so-called 'Little London' estate - are empty and are attracting anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping, adversely affecting the local neighbourhood.
The properties, which have suffered from an historic lack of investment due to being empty for long periods of time and have historically, a high turnover of tenants, are of non-standard construction; consisting of solid walls and concrete roofs which are hard to heat and suffer from problematic roofing defects, resulting in damp and condensation. Internally, the properties fail to meet basic health and safety standards.
Rotherham Council's Cabinet Member for Housing and Neighbourhoods Cllr Dominic Beck said: "Although some investment is being made to individual empty properties, we need to help them realise their full potential to bring about their refurbishment so they are suitable for private letting. The landlord has responded late to our enforcement activity aimed to keep the properties maintained in a good condition for the benefit of residents. We have no reason to believe that this will change in the future.
"By beginning these negotiations, we are setting out a clear direction and action plan to tackle these properties that are frankly an eyesore and a blight on the local landscape, to improve the local environment while at the same time adding to the council housing stock and adding to the housing options available across the estate."
Local Maltby Councillor, Amy Rushforth added: "As the properties are all situated together, across four blocks, refurbishment will enable a more significant impact to be made than if they were 'pepper-potted' throughout the estate.
"We believe this approach will then kick-start regeneration activities in this part of Maltby and have a positive effect on the housing market in the area."
The proposal to negotiate with the landlord came after the Council received a petition in April 2014 from local residents and some landlords requesting that action was taken to improve the area. The latest developments align with the Council's Housing Strategy objective to improve the quality of the private rented sector and bring empty homes back into use.