Council to splash out secret sum on rodent-infested empty house

PUBLISHED: 16:18 15 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:18 15 March 2019

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is looking to buy a rodent-infested house in the village of Thurne. Photo: SONYA BROWN

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is looking to buy a rodent-infested house in the village of Thurne. Photo: SONYA BROWN

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A rodent-infested house which has been empty for more than five years in a picturesque Broadside village could be snapped up by a council.

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is looking to purchase a two-bedroom terraced house in the village of Thurne, which has been unoccupied since the death of its owner in August 2013.

Having been empty since this date, it has grown dilapidated, with reports of damp and rodents damaging it to the point that it is in desperate need of renovation.

The borough council is willing to spend around £50,000 bringing it back up to scratch over the next two years before selling it on. It is then hoped it would be able to fetch around £220,000 on the market.

However, the council has refused to reveal how much it will splash out on the home, should it be successful in carrying out the compulsory purchase order on it, along with its exact location.

A report to the council’s policy and resources committee says disclosing this information would run the risk of compromising its ability to sell it for best value once the repair works are complete.

In this report, Sue Bolan, empty homes officer at GYBC, said: “Works to make the property habitable are estimated to be £45,000 to £50,000 as significant works are required to the roof and to address the extensive wet rot.

“It is estimated the property could be worth up to £220,000 if fully refurbished to a high standard; this is due to the popularity of the village.”

Should the CPO be completed, the council could choose to keep the property in its stock or rent it privately, however, the report recommends these options be passed up in favour of a market sale.

The council has been in touch with neighbours to the property who have raised concerns about its condition, but has received contact from a party who is interested in purchasing it.

At a meeting of the council’s policy and resources committee next week, members will be asked to give the all clear for the purchase, with the ambition of the home being sold and occupied within the space of two years.

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