Plymouth City Council is getting tough on eyesore empty homes in the city with a compulsory purchase order and an untidy land notice in the same week.
As part of the ongoing #EmptyHomesPlym campaign a house that has been empty for more than 20 years is being sold and another that is overgrown is also being tackled.
The house at 135 Stuart Road has been empty since 1995 and is dilapidated with overgrown gardens. Although the owner was served with an Untidy Land Notice in 2015 (Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990), it has once again become overgrown and untidy. As a result, the Council has now served notice under Section 17 of the Housing Act 1985 that it is submitting an order to the Secretary of State which will allow the Council to sell the property for the purpose of providing housing.
Councillor Steve Ricketts, Cabinet Member for Transport and Housing Delivery said: “We are absolutely committed to bringing as many of the 700 empty homes in Plymouth back into use as possible, and where necessary we will use enforcement action. They can often be an eyesore and blight the surrounding neighbourhood – devaluing not only the empty property itself but surrounding properties.
“The house in Stuart Road has been empty for such a long time and is in such a state that it attracts vandalism, vermin and squatters.
“A compulsory purchase order is always the absolute last resort. Where possible we encourage empty home owners to work with us to help bring their property back into use. But there are times when we have to get tough and this week shows that we are not afraid to do that.”
In addition this week, the Council has served the owner of a property at 29 Laira Park Crescent with a Section 215 Notice asking him to clear the front and back gardens, which are obscuring the bungalow and causing blight to the amenity of the area.
If you’re an empty home owner and want to know about the support that’s available, visit www.plymouth.gov.uk/emptyhomes or search #EmptyHomesPlym on Twitter or Facebook.