North East Lincolnshire Council

Council to consult on strategy to tackle empty properties

Empty and derelict properties can be a blight on communities, causing numerous problems for neighbours and local services.

This issue could soon become much less of a problem in Grimsby, Cleethorpes, Immingham and the surrounding areas as North East Lincolnshire Council consults with the public on how to tackle long-term vacant properties.

The Council has published a draft empty property strategy and is asking members of the public to give it a read and give their views.

The strategy highlights the key issues that cause empty homes in North East Lincolnshire and a range of proposed activities and options available to the Council to remedy the situation.

According to the report, there were 3,147 empty homes in the area on the 1 January 2020 but many of these homes are well maintained and do not cause any anti-social behaviour. The new strategy aims to target those ‘real’ problem dwellings in the borough.

Where possible the Local Authority want to work with property owners to bring empty properties back into use, but the Council has some robust powers to take on properties and let them, where owners fail to act.

Councillor John Fenty, deputy leader of North East Lincolnshire Council and portfolio holder for regeneration, skills and housing, said: “Empty homes, shops and derelict properties are the root of a lot of community problems across the UK.

“Properties, including shops, standing empty can be a magnet for anti-social behaviour, safety hazards and crime.

“Just over 3,000 empty properties are known to the Council but the actual figure may be greater. Until recently, Council’s could do relatively little to fix this problem, but thanks to new powers from the Government and some innovative approaches from Council officers, we can start to act against property owners who are neglecting their land.

“In a time when people are having to join waiting lists to be able to get a home for themselves and their families, we should not have properties sitting empty.

“This strategy sets out our ambition to help property owners to either offload their vacant property, or find alternative uses to help meet an unmet housing need, bringing the property back into use. We will also look to act against those who neglect their property and fail to take action to remedy the issues.

“We’re looking to work with landlords and property owners to help solve some of the major issues in this borough. This is something that can affect everyone so please, take five minutes to look over the strategy and give us your thoughts.”

The consultation is open now and people can read the strategy and have their say via the Council’s website at www.nelincs.gov.uk/have-your-say.

In normal circumstances paper copies of the consultation would be available at local libraries and Grimsby’s Customer Access Point. However due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council is instead offering a telephone and postal option if required.

If you need a survey posting to you or to complete the survey via telephone please contact Housing Strategy Manager Jacqui Wells on 01472 324775 or email jacqui.wells@nelincs.gov.uk.

The consultation will end on Sunday 21 June 2020.

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