Derelict property in Potters Bar lies 'untouched' a year on from council seizure

PUBLISHED: 16:02 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:02 14 May 2019

The derelict house in Stafford Gate. Picture: Google Street View

The derelict house in Stafford Gate. Picture: Google Street View

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Hertsmere Borough Council has yet to develop a derelict Potters Bar property, after seizing it more than a year ago.

The house in Strafford Gate, which has been empty for more than 10 years, was seized by a council Compulsory Purchase Order last year after the relative of the deceased owner failed to engage with the borough council.

Resident Sam Rubry, living on the same road, has said the house still remains a source of worry for residents in the area.

"It's a real eyesore," Sam said. "The garden was cleared out over a year ago but nothing else has been done."

The borough council said it is working on plans to extend and refurbish the property so it can be fit for use.

"A planning application should be submitted in the next few weeks," a spokeswoman said.

Originally, when they announced the purchase order on the house, the council said they would rent out the property.

"Any decision will be made once completed, dependent on needs and priorities. We will aim to keep you posted on this one," the Hertsmere spokeswoman said this week.

Sam disagrees with the council and believes they should sell the property rather than waste money developing it.

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"It's the best house on the road. I think it would be better for them to build cheap elsewhere," he said.

"It's really a property for a millionaire."

Hertsmere has not revealed how much they spent on the CPO or how much a refurbishment is likely to cost.

But information from the land registry shows a similar three bedroom semi-detached house in Strafford Gate sold for £507,000 in March.

Vacant properties have been a problem in Hertsmere with 400properties, according to March 2019 figures, lying vacant, mainly due to beneficiaries awaiting a probate decision.

The borough council sees vacant houses as an issue and did outline a strategy to deal with it in 2018.

"Empty properties frequently suffer from disrepair, pose health risks and can be eyesores that detrimentally affect the appearance of a neighbourhood, attracting crime and vandalism and adversely affecting property prices," the council stated.

Compulsory purchase orders, granted under Section 226(1)(b) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, are one way the council are looking at dealing with the problem.

The council also has a loans and a letting scheme available for Hertsmere residents, for more information check out:

hertsmere.gov.uk/Housing--Private-Property/Housing--Private-Property.aspx

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