The owner of a derelict property in Sandown could be forced to sell it to the Isle of Wight Council so that it can be brought back into use.
The council looks set to use compulsory purchase powers to acquire the building on the corner of Fitzroy Street and Station Avenue, which has stood empty for more than a decade.
The premises consist of a number of units and has a current estimated value of £405,000.
Approved by Cabinet
In approving the move in principle, Cabinet members said it showed the authority was prepared to get tough to bring long-term vacant properties back into use.
Council leader, Dave Stewart, said:
“First and foremost we want to support owners to bring empty properties back into use. That said, we also want to make best use of available homes on the Island and we want our neighbourhoods to be pleasant places to live.
“For the minority of empty homeowners who knowingly and deliberately leave their properties empty year after year, we will take action. Overgrown and boarded up buildings attract pests and crime, and can make people’s lives a misery.
“In this case, I am extremely grateful to the local member, Councillor Ian Ward, who has worked hard on behalf of the local community to get this matter resolved. It has been a long, long saga.
“The council has made every effort to work with the owner over many years to bring these premises back into use and secure repairs as in their current state they severely affect the amenity of the area.
“We will be looking at other properties around the Island.”
Last month, the council issued a notice requiring the owner to carry out repairs to the property which has deteriorated significantly since an arson attack in 2008.
On Thursday Cabinet members agreed in principle to use compulsory purchase powers to acquire the premises and a further report will now be prepared.
Targets homes stood empty for more than two years
The council’s Empty Property Strategy, as part of its wider Housing Strategy, targets those homes which have stood empty for more than two years.
While the authority aims to work with owners to bring properties back into use in the first instance, it has warned it will consider using enforcement action where necessary.
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