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Signs of improvement at Reservoir Road house of horrors

By citizenmike  |  Posted: April 30, 2014

By Mike Wilkinson, Public Affairs reporter

TWM_ReservoirRd_290414_1055

Improvements being made at Reservoir Road house

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A HOUSE of horrors that has been left to decay for a decade is well on its way to being put back into good use after council bosses threatened to take the house of its owner.

Council officials have spent months chasing the owner of the house on Reservoir Road, asking them to carry out works to get the home back into use.

It culminated in permission to seek a compulsory purchase order being granted by city councillors in March, meaning the council has the power to buy the house.

As the decision was approved, work began on improving the house.

Council bosses said yesterday that they were keeping a watchful eye on the works but that they were pleased with progress so far.

A spokeswoman said: “The city council is still pursuing a compulsory purchase order on this property, however, as the owner is currently making good progress on renovating the building, we will continue to monitor the situation.

“We may decide not to take final possession if the property is brought back into use within a reasonable time scale.”

The Citizen was contacted by someone linked to the property who said: “Whilst you were right in saying the property has been empty for a while, I think you will find that work has already been started and has done from the beginning of the year.

“It’s quite clear there is an extension being put up and building work going on.”

Yesterday the extension was well under way and was surrounded by scaffolding.

Julie Wight, the council’s private sector housing service manager, revealed recently that the house had not only been empty for a number of years, but that the council had been receiving complaints about its condition since 2006.

The move to issue a compulsory purchase order comes in the wake of startling figures which show more than 4,500 people are still on a waiting list to be rehoused on social housing in the city.

The number of empty homes in the city has fallen from four per cent to three per cent of the total housing stock showing that progress is being made elsewhere in turning around long-term empty properties to allow them to be occupied once again.

Some 25 properties that have been out of use for more than four years have been brought back to life on average each year thanks to city council intervention, figures released to councillors last month revealed.

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