More long-term empty properties set to be brought back into use

Published on Thu Jun 29 2023
Row of terraced houses with one in foreground boarded up with steel on windows and door

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 seven properties in the borough.

It’s the latest in a series of acquisitions which have helped cut the number of empty homes in the borough.

Since the inception of the programme in 2004, the number of empty properties reached its height in 2009 when there were 3,232. Since then, the number has been reduced by almost half. The number of long-term empty properties (those vacant for six months or more) fell from 1,139 in 2017 to 658 in 2022.

Under the empty homes programme, properties are acquired for re-sale and, once renovated, reoccupied with the proceeds being re-invested back into buying and refurbishing further properties.

Loans of up to £25,000 in certain cases are available to accredited landlords to help them bring empty properties back into use. More information is available from the council’s empty homes team on 01282 425011.

Councillor John Harbour, executive member for housing and green spaces, said: “The council is steadily reducing the number of empty houses across our borough and it’s good to see that the number of long-term empty properties has halved in the last five years.

“By doing so we are helping to provide good quality homes and, at the same time, cutting the number of vacant properties that can fall derelict and be an eyesore and a magnet for anti-social behaviour.”

Efforts are made to work with the property owners and get them to bring the houses back into use. 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 empty properties being acquired are in Caernarvon Avenue, Cameron Street, Fraser Street, Gill Street, and Piccadilly Road, all Burnley; and Graham Street and Lawrence Street, Padiham.

A report will go to the council’s executive on 12th July.

Post expires at 9:17am on Friday September 29th, 2023