A homeowner from Crewe has been punished as part of Cheshire East Council’s get-tough approach on unsightly empty homes.
The authority serves notices on dilapidated empty properties as part of a campaign to help bring more houses back into use and to improve the appearance of the area.
The Council’s ‘empty homes team’ served a notice under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to require that the front of David Moreton’s house, on Gainsborough Road, Crewe, be upgraded and brought into a better state of repair.
Mr Moreton, who failed to show for the hearing at South Cheshire Magistrates Court on Tuesday, July 23, was fined £1,000 for failing to comply with the requirements of the notice, which is the maximum for this type of offence.
The Council was awarded costs of £550 and Mr Moreton was also ordered to pay a £100 victim surcharge, making it £1,650 in total.
Councillor Don Stockton, Cabinet member in charge of housing, said: “Empty properties are a wasted resource, particularly as affordable family homes are in short demand throughout Cheshire East.
“This is about sending a clear message to absent property owners that they cannot simply dodge their maintenance responsibilities and leave the neighbours and the rest of the community to suffer the effects of their negligence.
“The Council would like to help empty home-owners to bring their properties back into use, but will take a stern stance on those who do not comply or look to work with us.”
This property had been left empty and also completely neglected for more than five years. The Council had asked Mr Moreton to cut and tidy his garden and hedges, remove the boards covering his broken windows, repair broken windows and repaint frames, repair broken guttering, replace missing roof tiles and repaint fascia boards.
If Mr Moreton continues to choose to ignore his maintenance responsibilities, he could face further legal action.
Owners of other unsightly empty properties, in Crewe, Weston, Willaston and Alsager have also been issued with notices, and will also be brought before magistrates if they fail to comply.
If anyone would like to complain about an unsightly empty home, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Those who own an empty property and require help or advice on how to bring it back into use, including financial assistance, should also get in touch at the same address.
For more information, call 0300 123 5017 and select option 4.