Council urged to buy 'eyesore' home in quiet cul-de-sac

An overgrown house in Eaton, which Norwich City Council is being urged to buy

An overgrown house in Eaton, which Norwich City Council is being urged to buy - Credit: Archant

A council has been urged to snap up an "eyesore" home in a quiet cul-de-sac rather than leave it as a "blight on the neighbourhood".

Despite council tax being paid on a property in Eaton for the past 10 years, the detached house is believed to have been uninhabited for more than a decade.

Ivy and other vegetation has been allowed to engulf it, leaving it derelict and unkempt, with neighbours fearing it is a prime target for antisocial behaviour and rodents.

The house's state has led to calls for Norwich City Council to make a compulsory purchase order on the property and refurbish it - before either selling it on or adding it to its housing stock.

Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton. Pic: Sonya Duncan.

Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat city councillor for Eaton. Pic: Sonya Duncan. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat councillor for Eaton, raised the matter at a meeting of the full council last week.

She said: "Quite a few neighbours have lost all hope that anything will be done about it as it has been empty for about 10 years.

"There is a real worry about it, but I was pleased that we had a sympathetic response to our concerns."

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In response to Mrs Lubbock's question, cabinet member Mike Stonard said he agreed something needed to be done about the property.

He said: "The council is well aware of the property and it does blight the neighbourhood."

He added that a compulsory purchase would "relieve the blight on the community and result in a much-needed home being provided".

He added that discussions with officers would be held with a view to carrying out the purchase, but that he could not guarantee funding would be available to make it.

Norwich city councillor Mike Stonard. Pic: Archant.

Norwich city councillor Mike Stonard. Pic: Archant. - Credit: Archant

Mr Stonard added: "The threshold for CPO action against individual homeowners remains high and there are considerable costs and risks for the council in pursuing the matter."

If the move goes ahead, it would not be the first time in recent times the council has taken this course of action.

Last year, the council purchased the former King's Arms pub in Mile Cross, with construction due to begin on putting five new properties in its place.

Mrs Lubbock added: "With the council now having its own homebuilding company, this is the type of thing I would like to see happen more often."

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