Great news for people living in the west Cheshire region, as a semi-detached house has been brought back to life, following a Compulsory Purchase Order.
Cheshire council has a hit-list of 29 properties it intends to put under pressure, following the appointment of a new CPO officer to work with the empty homes team.
From ‘the about my area’ story:
Councillor Angela Claydon, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We are keen to make it clear to empty homeowners that we are not afraid to use the legal powers available to us, including the use of compulsory purchase orders, which allow the Council to take ownership of empty properties to ensure that they are re-occupied.
“Our Empty Homes Team is available to provide advice and support to homeowners but where an owner is refusing to engage with us then we won’t hesitate to use enforcement measures to bring the boroughs empty homes back into use”.
This story shows it can be done if the will is there. There’s no excuse to have these houses decay in full view of the public when there is an alternative.
The use of the power is always a last resort and is only used where the owner is not taking genuine steps towards bringing the property back in to use. Market value compensation is paid to the property owner following the successful confirmation of a CPO, allowing the Council to then sell the property to a new owner that is committed to renovating it and bringing it back into use.
The number of cases is set to increase as more properties are identified for action. A priority scoring system is used to ensure that the worst properties and those empty the longest are targeted. With many owners choosing to co-operate with the Council before the matter gets as far as a CPO, the Empty Homes Team are seeing the number of empty properties brought back into use increasing year on year. Last year, the team were able to bring 150 empty properties back into use through their intervention.