Adrian Lawrence, West Norfolk Council cabinet member for community said that 11 Valingers Road was previously a home in multiple occupation “but that use ceased (we believe) in 2000 and it has remained empty ever since”.
He said change of use to five flats was refused in February 2009 because of flood risk and a revised scheme was approved in September 2009 with three-year time scale
Because some work has been done on the building, that permission remains in place.
He said that a section 215 notice requiring the property to be made less of an eyesore had been served on the owners of 51 London Road and complied with.
There are currently 5,233 households on the housing register in West Norfolk with 276 ‘high band’, 723 medium and 4,234 low. From April, the number of empty homes has reduced from 1,028 to 967.
Mr Lawrence said: “The council offers advice and assistance to owners of empty homes.
“It also works in partnership with Freebridge Community Housing to offer solutions such as a private sector leasing scheme and sale to Freebridge Community Housing.
“A long term empty homes strategy has been developed and is due to be considered at council on Thursday.
“In broad terms, tackling the issue of derelict land and buildings is a priority for the council, but with limited powers and resources, the process can be lengthy and complicated.
“The reasons that properties remain empty or derelict are many and varied and include things such as the owner does not have the funds to do the necessary renovation work, there may be issues with the legal ownership of a property preventing its sale, the owner may have gone into long term care and next of kin have not been given power of attorney, the property might be for sale but has not sold and the owner is reluctant to lease or rent it for fear of damage being caused.
“We’ve gathered information about derelict land and buildings in the area and we are using the powers available to us to try to bring these properties back into use.”