Long-term empty Burnley homes set to be bought and renovated

A house in Rennie Street prior to renovation
A house in Rennie Street prior to renovation
Share this article

Another group of long-term vacant houses in Burnley are set to be brought back into use again through Burnley Council’s Empty Homes programme.

The council’s Executive Committee is recommended to agree the compulsory purchase of 13 properties in the borough which have been long-term empty, in one case for more than 20 years.

The house in Rennie Street after renovation under the scheme

The house in Rennie Street after renovation under the scheme

If agreed, the houses will be acquired for re-sale and, once renovated, reoccupied with the proceeds being re-invested back into buying and refurbishing further properties.

The council has put additional resources into the programme by appointing an empty homes officer who will support the work earlier this year. More than 90 empty properties have been brought into use over the past two years, with at least another 160 expected to be improved over the next two years.

In May this year the council approved a group of 10 houses should be bought and brought back into use under the same programme.

Coun. John Harbour, the council’s Executive member for housing and leisure, said: “Improving our neighbourhoods by bringing properties that have been empty for many years back into use is a challenge we’re tackling. This latest group of properties includes one that has been empty for more than 20 years. Long-term empty properties can cause a blight on our communities and attract crime and anti-social behaviour.

“The owners of these properties have been contacted and have either not responded or have given no reasonable proposals for renovating the property or bringing it 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 properties covered by the report are in Accrington Road, Albert Street, Branch Road, Casterton Avenue, Cleaver Street, Cog Lane, Elmwood Street, Gannow Lane, Godiva Street, Hollingreave Road, Netherby Street and Willow Street.

A report will go to the council’s Executive on 7th November.