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Derelict Homes To Be Sold

The misery of people living near empty homes which attract rats, mess and crime could soon be at an end.

Several homes owned by an investment company in South Norwood's Ferndale Road have fallen into disrepair, sparking complaints from neighbours. Croydon Council tried to encourage the owners to bring the houses back into use by offering grants, but were not successful. Now Croydon has issued compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) to force the homes onto the market. The owners can appeal, but if they do not, and the Secretary of State gives his permission, it could be just two or three months before the houses are sold off at auction. The new owners will then have to enter into a covenant promising to return them to use within 12 months.

"I'm delighted," said Michelle Small, who lives between two of the empty houses.

"There's 10ft weeds, vermin running around the back garden and pigeons in the houses. We've spent a lot of money doing our house up so we're fed-up with this."

Croydon's housing chairman Councillor Tony Newman said : "We are approached every day by families and individuals who cannot find suitable housing, while neglected properties like these are left lying empty and wasted.

"We want to work with, rather than against, home owners like the investment company here, but where, despite all council efforts, they cannot be traced or fail to see the benefits of co-operating, then compulsory purchase is the only option."

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000.Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.

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