Campaign to tackle empty homes in Nelson

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A CAMPAIGN has been launched to highlight the issue of the number of empty homes in Pendle Council’s Marsden ward in Nelson.

Local community campaigner and former ward councillor Azhar Ali said: “I have been undertaking a residents’ survey and was overwhelmed with the concern about properties for sale and/or empty properties and the knock-on effect.

“Many local residents are concerned about the effect on the street scene, impact on surrounding house values and dumping of rubbish in back and front gardens.

“This part of Marsden was always much sought after and residents take pride in their streets but are being let down by lack of action by agencies”.

Mr Ali attended a meeting in Nelson earlier this month at which concerns were expressed about the empty properties which it said was adding to the deterioration of the whole area.

He has asked for a meeting with senior officers so the council puts together an action plan to deal with all the problems.

“It’s gutting to see the council’s lack of investment in this area,” he said.

The Government has recently announced a housing strategy for England – “Laying the Foundations”.

Tackling empty homes is one of the Coalition Government’s policy priorities. As part of the Comprehensive Spending Review in October, 2010, the Government announced a £100m fund to bring more empty homes back into use.

Empty homes in England account for 3% of the total housing stock.