Investigation launched into hundreds of empty homes in Norwich

The overgrown, boarded up and fenced off houses in Argyle Street. Picture: Denise Bradley

The overgrown, boarded up and fenced off houses in Argyle Street. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

A citywide review is to be carried out into hundreds of empty homes around Norwich, to see if council powers can be used to get any of them back into use.

Research by the national campaigning charity Empty Homes Agency recorded that there were 385 empty homes in the city as of October last year, an increase of 53 on the same the time 12 months previously.

While the council defended its record at getting empty homes back into use - with 142 brough back into use between April and December last year, the authority also revealed it is about to start a review to get even more occupied again.

A spokesman said: 'This was as result of a review of empty properties and we're about to embark on a similar exercise, which we hope will see more properties being brought back into use.

'As a council, we've been especially proactive in recent years, using a range of initiatives to address this issue.

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'These have included the introduction of our Make a House a Home Campaign, which aims to bring 10 empty homes in Norwich back into use, and compulsory purchase orders, as well as through direct engagement with owners by our empty homes team.'

In Broadland, the number of empty homes fell from 410 in October 2012 to 392 in October last year.

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Over the same period, the number in South Norfolk dropped from 431 to 413, while in Great Yarmouth the number went up by two, from 521 to 523.

As reported, 20 eyesore homes which are owned by Norwich City Council, but which have stood empty and boarded up for five years, are finally set to be demolished.

The tenants living in the homes in Argyle Street, off Rouen Road, were moved out in 2009, after tests showed the properties were at risk of subsidence.

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 revealed plans are in place to knock down the buildings, which officers hope will make the site more attractive to a development partner.

• Have you been trying to get action over an eyesore empty home? Tell us about it by emailing

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