Derelict home in Potters Bar set for revamp after council intervention

PUBLISHED: 12:53 03 April 2018 | UPDATED: 12:53 03 April 2018

The overgrowth at the house in Strafford Gate, Potters Bar. Picture: Hertsmere Council

The overgrowth at the house in Strafford Gate, Potters Bar. Picture: Hertsmere Council

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A dilapidated Potters Bar property which has been empty for more than 10 years will be getting a new lease of life following a legal intervention by the local authority.

The house in Strafford Gate, Potters Bar. Picture: Hertsmere CouncilThe house in Strafford Gate, Potters Bar. Picture: Hertsmere Council

The three-bedroom house in Strafford Gate has been the subject of a successful Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) by Hertsmere Council after numerous attempts to engage with the relative of the deceased owner failed.

It means the semi-detached house, which requires underpinning work to the foundations and is suffering from water leaks, became the property of the local authority last month.

Major structural and refurbishment work will be taking place over the next six months and the property will be completely redecorated, before it is made available for local families who are in housing need.

Councillor Jean Heywood, portfolio holder for housing, said: “The Strafford Gate property has been uninhabitable and a real source of worry for neighbours.

The house in Strafford Gate, Potters Bar. Picture: Hertsmere CouncilThe house in Strafford Gate, Potters Bar. Picture: Hertsmere Council

“What once was an elegant home had become an eyesore and a magnet for criminals and intruders, who broke into it several times.

“The council made the decision to use its CPO powers as a last resort after trying to negotiate with the family of the original owners.

“Now the order has been confirmed by the court, our main aim is to ensure that this valuable asset is used for the good of our local community.”

Compulsory purchase powers, which were granted under Section 226(1)(b) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, can be used by a range of statutory bodies including local authorities and government departments.

All attempts should be made to buy properties by agreement, but where that is impractical or not possible, compulsory purchase powers can be considered.

A council spokeswoman said in this case, housing officers repeatedly made attempts to get the owner’s co-operation to improve the property, including offers of loans and advice, before beginning the CPO process in April last year.

She said the council could not reveal how much the CPO or refurbishment would cost, as it is “potentially commercially sensitive”, but said it expects to get all of the money back within three years of renting it out.


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