“Time to act on empty properties” says Radcliffe Councillor Rishi Shori
PICTURED: Radcliffe West Councillor Rishi Shori outside the empty properties on Albion Street, Radcliffe.
Bury’s Labour Council is buying up selected properties in Radcliffe to help with the ongoing regeneration of the area.
It is using Compulsory Purchase powers to obtain five houses on Albion Street which have lain empty for six years.
Once purchased, work will be carried out to improve these properties and bring them back into use as affordable housing. The work will be carried out using apprentices and local suppliers.
Radcliffe Councillor Rishi Shori, who is also Cabinet Member for Adult Care, Health & Housing, said: “We have been targeting particular areas of Radcliffe, working with property owners to bring empty houses back into use. In the last 12 months, 14 properties have already been brought back into use and several more are on their way. While it would be ideal if all owners worked positively with us, residents and owners need to know that we will take enforcement action, such as compulsory purchase and enforced sales, where appropriate and necessary to bring houses back into use.
“Empty properties not only make an area look bad, but are a terrible waste when housing waiting lists are rising and demand for affordable housing is high. Private properties which lie empty for more than six months often fall into disrepair, attracting anti-social behaviour and vandalism, and blighting the neighbourhood. We must take action to avoid that happening.
“Radcliffe has clusters of empty private sector properties on the main roads leading to the town centre, which has a negative impact on the area. This is why the pilot project is focused on Radcliffe, which should bring better results than spreading resources more thinly across the borough.”
Bury Council is generally committed to bringing empty properties back into use to provide homes for people and to improve our local communities across the borough. Council tax is charged at 150% for properties left empty for more than two years, which is a big incentive for owners to make sure their properties are occupied.