Action on derelict sites and empty homes
Across Calderdale, many derelict sites and eyesores need sorting. Former pubs that stand empty, shops with broken windows, derelict mills.
There is much debate about what new land we require for development, but little action on sorting out existing sites.
Derelict sites bring down the area. They attract fly-tipping, fires, and anti-social behaviour.
And yet Calderdale Council has plenty of powers to tackle these problems if it chose to use them.
Under section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act.
The Council can decide that the amenity of the area is being negatively impacted by the condition of land or buildings, and serve a notice setting out the possible remedies that the owner of the land can take.
Failure to comply with a notice is a prosecutable offence. The Council has powers under Section 219, to enter and carry out the remedial works themselves, as well as subsequently recovering costs from the landowner. Such notices can be appealed against by the landowner.
Too many empty homes
According to Council figures As at 31-12-2019, there are
1,509 homes unoccupied and unfurnished for more than 6 months:
•978 empty more than 6 months
•309 empty more than 2 years
•123 empty more than 5 years
•80 empty more than 10 years
•19 empty more than 20 years (inc6 empty more than 27 years!)
Why haven’t compulsory purchase powers been used on these properties that have been empty for years and years?
These could be homes brought back into use.
We the undersigned are calling on the Council to make much greater use of these powers at its disposal to bring back derelict and empty properties into use.