Burnley's empty buildings ready to become homes again

Refurbishment will be part of the council's Empty Homes Programme
Refurbishment will be part of the council's Empty Homes Programme

Empty Burnley and Padiham properties are prepped for refurbishment as Councillors are set to agree a series of measures to bring long-term empty properties back into use.

As part of its Empty Homes Programme, Burnley Council’s executive, which meets tomorrow on Tuesday, November 1st, is being asked to approve compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) on nine properties at various addresses in Burnley.

The purchases will result in houses which have been empty for a number of years bought, refurbished and then put back on the open market, while the money raised is put back into the programme to fund further purchases.

The properties involved are long-term vacant properties where the owners have been contacted several times by the council and where they either did not respond or did not give any reasonable proposal to renovate and bring the properties back into use.

In many cases the properties involved attract anti-social behavior such as vandalism and fly-tipping, and adversely affect the surrounding neighbourhood. Bringing them back into use helps reduce anti-social behavior and improves the surrounding area.

Councillors are also being asked to extend a successful environmental improvement scheme to include Branch Road. The scheme has already proved popular with residents in the Accrington Road, Brennand Street and Dickson Street areas.

The executive is also being asked to extend an existing scheme of offering interest-free loans to property owners to renovate and improve empty houses to cover new selective licensing areas in and around Ingham and Lawrence Streets, Leyland Road, Burnley Wood, and Healey Wood.

Finally the council wants to support responsible landlords to make further investments in selective licensing areas. The executive is recommended to agree the council would pay the selective licensing fee if a landlord buys an empty property in the designation areas which has been vacant for at least 12 months and the property is refurbished to an agreed standard within six months of being purchased.

Councillor John Harbour, executive member for housing and environment, said: “We're working across the whole borough to breathe new life into empty houses, improving not only the house itself but also the wider area. These empty homes often attract anti- social behavior and can be a blight on the surrounding area.

“The empty homes programme helps bring problem properties back into use, providing much-needed homes and improving the quality of life for neighbours.