'Blight' of Basford street to be bought after more than seven years of standing empty

This post first appeared on Nottingham Post. Read the original article.

An empty house which neighbours describe as an eyesore and a safety risk is being bought by Nottingham City Council after at least seven years of standing empty.

Number 32 Chelmsford Road in Basford has stood empty for at least seven years and has become a ‘playground’ for youths, causing a nuisance to neighbours.

The house is being bought by Nottingham City Council for an estimated £74,000 and they will then sell it on the condition that it is made fit for living in again.

Marvin Marston, 41, an IT analyst who has lived next to the property for the past five years, said: “I am happy and thankful that they are doing something with it.

“Kids have been around the back, smashing windows and messing about, it has been an absolute nuisance.

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“My main concern is that it took a long time to bring up, kids were going in there and it was rotting inside, anything could have happened to them.

“I do not care what they do with it as long as someone looks after it and it is no longer a playground for kids to mess around in.

“The council has taken far too long, but after lots of complaints and emails I’m glad they are finally actually doing something.”

Another local resident, Mark Radford, 57, has lived on the street for 30 years and claims it has been empty for the past 15.

Chelsmford Road sign

He said: “It is about time they did something, especially with the lack of houses and number of homeless people.

“We have had a burst pipe, kids going in, it has been terrible. The next thing will be a fire, the place is a big safety risk and an eyesore.

“It’s demoralising when you try hard to keep your bit nice and you have something like that down the road. It makes people not want to live on this street.”

The council was made aware of the property in January 2010 but when they initially attempted to purchase the house there was no response from the owner.

However after a compulsory purchase procedure was started in 2016 he agreed to sell the property to the council voluntarily.

They added that buying the property informally would be quicker than going through the compulsory purchase process.

They approved the decision to do so on Monday, September 4, subject to call-in.

Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage, Councillor Jane Urquhart, said: “We are always looking at ways to bring empty homes back into use.

“Many, like this one, are privately owned and cause a blight on neighbourhoods, falling into disrepair, becoming vandalised and not contributing to the local economy.

“We had made many attempts to engage with the owner of this property about renovation and re-occupation, without success.

“Eventually the owner agreed to sell it to us, and we will now sell it on, with the condition that the purchaser carries out the necessary refurbishment within a reasonable timeframe to bring it back into residential use.”