July 28 2014 Latest news:
Monday, June 2, 2014
Twenty eyesore city homes, which have stood empty and boarded up for five years, are finally set to be demolished.
Norwich City Council, which owns the homes, moved out the tenants living in them in 2009 after tests showed the properties were at risk of subsidence.
Not everyone who was moved out of the homes in Argyle Street, off Rouen Road, wanted to leave.
Some had said they would have preferred the city council to take action to repair the problems.
But the council pushed ahead with the move, with the tenants who were moved out eligible for home loss payments of around £5,000 to £6,000.
The council said at the time that it hoped to sell the properties to a housing association.
But such a deal never materialised and the homes have become an eyesore, with overgrown gardens and boarding covering the windows.
However, the council has now revealed that the fate of the homes will be decided later this year.
A council spokesman said: “Due to ground conditions we have been unable to find a partner to develop the site in its current state.
“Plans are in place to flatten the existing structures to create a more attractive business proposition which we hope will enable us to find a suitable development partner.
“We are currently in the process of procuring a contractor to carry out the demolition work, which is programmed to take place this financial year.”
Meanwhile, the city council has defended its record after statistics showed the number of empty homes in Norwich had gone up.
Research by national charity the Empty Homes Agency recorded that there were 385 empty homes in the city as of October last year, an increase of 53 on same time 12 months previously.
A city council spokesman said: “We’re doing everything we can to bring empty homes back into use. An increase of around 60 properties in the whole of Norwich over the past year could be down to any number of factors in the current climate.
“We brought 142 empty homes back into use between April 1, 2013, and December 31, 2013, against a target of just 20 – a fantastic achievement.”
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