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Compulsory Purchase Orders in Bristol

Compulsory Purchase Orders in Bristol

PROPERTIES which have lain empty for years could be bought by the council to help tackle Bristol's housing shortage.

Bristol City Council has warned it could use its compulsory purchase powers to bring derelict properties back to life as homes. The council currently has more than a dozen Compulsory Purchase Orders in progress.

The authority fired the warning as it launched its No Use Empty campaign, which is aimed at encouraging landlords to take action if they own property which has remained empty for long time.

The authority has joined the No Use Empty initiative after it proved a big success for Kent County Council, which has already brought 1,266 homes back into use.

A variety of measures ranging from advice and financial incentives to enforcement will be used to encourage landlords to use empty properties.

City councillor Anthony Negus, cabinet member for strategic housing and regeneration, said: "Tackling the shortage of housing in Bristol is one of the most important challenges facing us and in order to reduce the gap we need to use every means at our disposal.

"Targeting empty homes is one of them.

"Partnership with Kent's well-established and successful campaign will enable us to make use of their skills and resources.

"It will highlight the benefits of bringing an empty home back into use and will provide simple, clear information to homeowners through a one-stop shop.

"The message is that there is plenty of help available for people who want to bring an empty property back into use but don't know how. But if people will not co-operate and if all attempts at resolution fail, we can and we will act.

"Not only is it unacceptable that houses should lie empty long-term when so many people struggle to find accommodation but long-term property voids drag down an area, attracting anti-social behaviour such as vandalism and arson."

Councillor Kevin Lynes, cabinet member for regeneration and economic development at Kent County Council, said: "We recognise the value of turning empty properties into much-needed homes and have had tremendous success in the five years that we have been operating our No Use Empty scheme. It's fantastic news that Bristol City Council is now adopting the No Use Empty brand.

"We can share our knowledge and expertise with them to help breathe new life into more communities through the use of empty and derelict properties."

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404 empty properties were brought back into use in 2010/11 in Bristol.
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