North Norfolk District Council threat of compulsory purchase orders brings empty Weybourne and East Runton homes back into use

Long-empty homes in north Norfolk are being brought back into use thanks to the threat of compulsory purchase orders, North Norfolk District Councillors have been told.

Two homes in Weybourne and one in East Runton, both near Cromer, are either being lived in again or work is under way to make them habitable, according to cabinet member Trevor Ivory.

Mr Ivory was responding to criticism at this morning's NNDC cabinet meeting from Liberal Democrat councillor Graham Jones.

Mr Jones said the Conservative administration had set aside �200,000 last year to tackle the problem of an estimated 1,400-plus empty homes in the district but had so far not compulsorily purchased any.

'We had a big fanfare and hoo-ha about this compulsory purchase idea but there are no real initiatives taking place,' he said.

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'The situation in north Norfolk for a long time has been dire. We need some blue-sky thinking not just ideas like compulsory purchase which produce nothing.'

But Mr Ivory said the 'mere threat' of compulsory purchase had prompted a Weybourne owner to bring one property back into use and begin work to refurbish another.

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And publicity about the threat had prompted an East Runton owner to take action on his empty property. But the council had started proceedings against the owner of a third Weybourne property.

Mr Ivory said he was delighted that empty homes were in use again without the need to take more radical action.

He added: 'We're actually achieving results rather than just talking about the problem.'

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