A family in Burngreave is at risk due to the dangers caused by a derelict house next door, it has emerged.
The resident, who did not wish to be named, lives with her husband and five children and tried to solve the problem by talking to the owner on several occasions. When this failed she repeatedly contacted Sheffield City Council yet nothing has been done. She explained,
“There hasn’t been anyone living there for many years.”
Despite phoning and writing to the Council for 5 years, the house remains empty and is now dangerous, with render falling from the outside walls.
“They keep saying that they will get back to us or that it’s private property so they can’t intervene. We’ve got kids, what about their safety?” She argued.
“We’re scared of letting them out to play because of all the rubbish lying around, it’s so dangerous.The house is also an eyesore. Other people are dumping rubbish like it’s a tip.”
To make matters worse, a pipe in the derelict house recently burst:
“Our houses are joined so it leaked all the way through to our kitchen walls.”
In January the resident and one of her children were nearly hit by shards of glass as the high winds caused a cracked window to shatter glass everywhere. The house has also become infested with rats and mice attracted to the rubbish.
Syringes have also been found on the premises, causing serious concern.
“We're paying £900 a year in council tax. This should not be happening.” The family has become very distressed. “I shouldn’t have to put up with this, they are reducing the value of our house, I can’t believe we’re being ignored like this.”
The family is demanding immediate action be taken by the Council to secure the house and prevent her children from being harmed. She was clearly very upset by what has happened.
The Messenger contacted the Council who provided this statement from Linda Eshelby of Private Sector Housing.
“The Council's Private Sector Housing Team has been working with this landlord for some time to address the disrepair of this property. It is now being dealt with by the specialised Empty Property Team, who can instigate legal action, including a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) if necessary. Before a court will let us have a CPO the Council has to demonstrate that it has exhausted all other options.”
When the Messenger asked about allegations of immediate danger that had not been addressed, the Council replied:
“People contacting a newspaper isn’t going to make a legal process go any quicker.The length of time a CPO can take can vary from a few months to a couple of years depending upon the complexity of the case.
“Officers visited the property on the 12th of January within one hour of the neighbour contacting us.They were satisfied that there was no danger caused by broken glass and it was secure.They also reported the rubbish to Environmental Services who will arrange for its removal.”
The resident told us the Council had visited and promised to secure the windows, but as The Messenger goes to press this has yet to happen.
by Brent Moya