Council to spend £100,000 on empty Calderdale house to create family home

Councillors in Calderdale have approved spending up to £100,000 to compulsorily purchase an empty property with the aim of bringing it back into use as a family home.

Sunday, 9th February 2020, 7:00 am

The five-bedroom property, at King Cross Road in Halifax, has been empty since at least 1990 and with “support and persuasion” attempts having failed to bring it back into use,

Calderdale Council’s Cabinet recommended use of a compulsory purchase order to achieve this aim in line with the council’s Empty Homes Strategy.

Officers believe a sum of up to £100,000 is likely to be needed although the council would hope to be able to recover the money quite quickly once it as sold on for development as a home.

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Calderdale Council will spend 100,000 on an empty house

The full Calderdale Council approved the move as well as another Cabinet recommendation on setting the council’s capital and investment strategy boundaries.

These set some of the financial parameters the council will work within as it strives to maximise use of resources and returns for the council in the next few years.

They set operational boundaries for external debt of £174 million, £168 million and £160 million and an authorised limit for external debt of £182 million, £176 million and £168 million for the financial years 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23 respectively.

But Conservative Group Leader Coun Steven Leigh (Con, Ryburn) was concerned the proposals included approving delegated powers regarding investment, which potentially meant up to £15 million could be spent without the issue coming back for councillors to assess and approve the decision.

“That seems too much to delegate,” he said. “If there was to be a restriction it should have been in there.”

Coun Jane Scullion (Lab, Luddenden Foot), Cabinet members for Regeneration and Resources, said Calderdale was a very cautious council but was following a commercial strategy to get a better return on its investments and that needed flexibility to make speedy decisions.