Abandoned Great Yarmouth homes could be brought back to use for £165,000

West Road, Great Yarmouth.

West Road, Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Archant

A borough council could spend more than £165,000 refurbishing two uninhabitable homes to bring them back into use.

Harbord Crescent, Great Yarmouth

Harbord Crescent, Great Yarmouth - Credit: Archant

A report on long-term empty ‘void’ properties in Great Yarmouth has highlighted the properties, on West Road and Harbord Crescent, as having significant issues in need of repair before new tenants can move in.

However, the cost of the repairs has now risen by almost 30pc from what was originally expected.

In March 2018, along with four other similar houses, it was estimated the cost of repairing the West Road home would be £59,869, while Harbord Crescent would cost £69,965.

However, the costs have now risen after being put out for tender, with a 54pc increase on West Road to £92,286, and a 7pc increase on Harbord Crescent to £75,163.

West Road, Great Yarmouth.

West Road, Great Yarmouth. - Credit: Archant

The report states: “Previously, consideration has been given to the sale of these properties rather than refurbishment. However, it is clear the sale value of the properties would not facilitate replacement of like-for-like accommodation.”

The West Road semi-detached house, which forms part of a sheltered development, has been empty since March 2008 and suffers from significant structural issues.

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The report states: “A full structural survey was undertaken after the original estimate and it was recognised the original solution was not suitable. It was clear additional funds may be required to stabilise and refurbish the bungalow.

“The alternatives are limited due to the surrounding properties. If the property remained unrenovated, the only options would be to either leave empty, which is not recommended, or demolish as a sale would not be feasible.”

The report has recommended the work is re-tendered, with the potential to remove the need for a fully-accessible conversion.

On Harbord Crescent, the property has been empty since February 2017 and is currently a three bed, four person property.

The report, which recommends a full refurbishment, states: “The tender identified the need for a full refurbishment together with the relocation of the bathroom from the ground floor to the first floor. This will then become a two bed, three person property.

“Although tendered costs are still higher, this is a marginal increase and still represents a feasible property for refurbishment.”

Currently, there are more than 20 applicants waiting for a property like the West Road house, while more than 50 are waiting for something similar to Harbord Crescent.

In the council’s 2018/19 budget, £150,000 was identified for bringing void properties back into use, while a further £100,000 is available in the 2019/20 budget.

The report, by the council’s head of property and asset management, will be presented to the Housing and Neighbourhoods Committee on January 24.