Local news

Forgotten Spaces 2013 - Preston and London featured

The "Forgotten Spaces 2013" competition is being launched this week, inviting submissions for spaces in London and Preston. Planning magaizne reports that

The Forgotten Spaces competition, run by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) along with the Mayor of London, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and the Landscape Institute, is open to students, artists, design professionals, planners, members of the public and local groups (led by a professional) living in the UK.

Hyndburn and Haslingden MP Jones and David Ireland cross swords over demolitions

Graham Jones, Labour MP for Haslingden and Hyndburn and David Ireland of the Empty Homes Agency have engaged in an interesting debate about demolitions in Jones's blog. Jones makes a robust defence of the need for demolitions in his constituency while Ireland quotes statistics about the size of local housing waiting lists in defence of the need to retain empty homes and bring them back into occupation.

South Tyneside celebrates "EDMO Day" in style

On the day that the government's statutory instrument to make it harder for local authorities to obtain Empty Dwelling Management Orders came into force, it was reported that South Tyneside Council had secured 11 EDMOs at a single hearing of the Residential Property Tribunal. The homes will be refurbished with finance in part from the government's £100million empty homes fund.

New Sqatters Legislation

St Helens Council in conjunction with Merseyside police are among the first to implement this new Legislation.

Just two days after the legislation was introduced, Neighbourhood Police Officers from St Helens, working with the council's Private Sector Landlord and Tenant Liaison Officer, successfully removed a man who had been involved in anti-social behaviour while squatting at a privately rented address in the area.

Stoke £1 home scheme gets go-ahead

The Stoke-on-Trent proposal to sell surplus houses to low-paid working people for £1 has now been given the go-ahead by the Council's Cabinet. The proposed scheme has been widely reported as an example of innovative thinking around empty homes.

The homes were originally purchased under the previous government's Market Renewal programme but the council was unable to progress the redevelopment schemes when the incoming Coalition government cut the funding. The cost of purchasing the homes to be sold for £1 has not been made public to date.

Interview with Adam Cliff, Peterborough Empty Homes Officer

Charity Hope Into Action has interviewd Peterborough City Council's Empty Homes Officer Adam Cliff about his work and you can see the video on their website here.

Hope Into Action are based in the Cambridge/Peterborough area and specialise in housing and support for ex-offenders and other vulnerable peole. Their website states they have recently won grant to enable two empty homes to be brought back into use.

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