Number of empty properties almost halved

Published on Thu Jul 14 2022
Row of terraced houses with one in foreground boarded up with steel on windows and door

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

The council’s executive agreed the compulsory purchase of a further 16 properties in the borough.

Councillors also approved facelifting work to houses on selected streets in Burnley and Padiham.

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.

The number of empty properties in the borough has been steadily falling in recent years.

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 steadily fallen and last year reached a new low figure of 1,832, approaching half the original number.

A further 90 houses are set to be brought back into use this year.

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 here or from the council’s empty homes team on 01282 425011.

Councillor John Harbour, executive member for housing, said: “It’s great to see the success of the council’s efforts to reduce the number of empty houses across our borough and bringing them back into use. The fact the number of empty houses has almost halved is a reflection of all the hard work the council has put in to tackle this issue.

“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 Briercliffe Road, Crow Wood, Herbert Street, Newman Road, Parkinson Street, Piccadilly Road, Reed Street, Thurston Street, Wythburn Close, Woodbine Road (all Burnley), and Russell Terrace, Padiham.

The streets that are to have face-lifting improvements are Albion Street and Whytham Street, Padiham, and the rear of Ivory Street and Windsor Street, Burnley.

Post expires at 10:30am on Friday October 14th, 2022