Council to compulsorily purchase houses

Wellingborough Council will compulsorily purchase of three abandoned houses as part of its continuing crackdown on empty properties in the borough.

In April the council announced plans to pursue compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) for eight long-term neglected properties that were attracting squatters and anti-social behaviour, and ruining the look of neighbourhoods.

The house owners were all written to and told that the council intended to purchase their properties, renovate them and sell them to new owners.

Since then, enough progress has been made with five of the owners to put the CPOs for their properties on hold for now. One of the owners has been looking into leasing his property to a local agent, one is negotiating the sale to a developer, one has been granted planning permission to extend the property, one has had a renovation grant approved, and one has made enquiries about getting a grant.

The remaining three houses, in Weavers Road, Harrowden Road, and Ash Close, Irchester, are now likely to be compulsorily purchased.

A council spokesman said: “After extensive research has failed to identify the owner or the owner has refused to improve the property, it is considered that there is a compelling case in the public interest for the CPOs to go ahead. Members of the council’s resources committee will be asked at a meeting on July 11 to recommend that the orders are made and submitted to the Secretary of State. Once purchased, the council will work to renovate and then reoccupy the houses, either as social housing or on the open market.”

Leader of Wellingborough Council Paul Bell said: “These three houses are derelict and unsafe. They’ve been empty for a number of years, have holes in their roofs, boarded up windows and overgrown gardens. It’s not fair on the neighbours to live next to these properties and put up with the anti-social behaviour they attract. We’ve had lots of complaints about these houses and despite our best efforts it doesn’t look like they are likely to be improved, which is why we want to press ahead with the orders to compulsorily purchase the properties.

“As well as significantly improving our neighbourhoods and removing the health and safety risks to the public, the purchase, renovation and sale of the properties will also provide much-needed new housing.”