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A large detached house in an upmarket central residential part of the city had lain empty for approximately 15 years.


A large detached house in an upmarket central residential part of the city had lain empty for approximately 15 years. Complaints about the overgrown garden and the general aspect of the premises had been received by the Empty Property Unit (EPU), and action had to be taken to clear the gardens of overgrowth and rubbish.

The house was owned by an elderly couple both of who had quite serious health problems. The owners had tried to get the house repaired but had had unfortunate experiences with a builder. The Council offered to purchase the house by agreement but this was turned down by the owners. The EPU discussed the likelihood of a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) with the owners who were at first very unhappy with this development.

However, once the CPO had been served, the owners finally recognised the urgency of the situation enabling the EPU to establish a constructive relationship with owners’ solicitor, architects and builders, and the refurbishment of the premises moved forward to completion. The owners have now moved back into the renovated house, to which it has been possible to adapt to suit their deteriorating mobility needs.

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In South Gloucestershire 181 empty properties were returned to use in 2012/13!
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