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New lease of life for fire-hit house
8:30am Tuesday 30th October 2012 in News
A DERELICT house which has become an eyesore in a Rodbourne street could soon be brought back to life.
The building, in Deburgh Street, has been the target of vandals and has twice been set on fire. It has been standing empty for many months.
The empty shell has since attracted fly-tippers and anti-social behaviour, with residents fearing that things would get worse unless action was taken to secure the property.
Yesterday, a public notice appeared in the Adver confirming that Swindon Council finally has a Compulsory Purchase Order of the house and if there are no objections, it will be put up for sale.
A Swindon Council spokesman said: “The Secretary of State has confirmed the Compulsory Purchase Order of 9 Deburgh Street following a lengthy and complicated legal process and there is now a six-week window during which the validity of the order can be challenged.
“The council has also given notice of its intention to make a general vesting declaration, which is a formal procedure that gives the council the right to take over the ownership of the property.
“If the ownership of the property is transferred to the council, the previous owners would be entitled to compensation.
“If there is no challenge to the CPO and the council acquires the property then it will be offered for sale subject to conditions which require it be brought back into use for housing.”
The news has been welcomed by residents who are pleased that the wheels are finally in motion, although some are still clearing up the aftermath of the fire in June.
Brian Breakspear, 72, who lives one door down from the house, said: “I keep the people who own the neighbouring properties up to date with what is going on, but they haven’t been able to move back in because of the damp the fire has caused in their own homes.
“I am pleased about the Compulsory Purchase Order, but it has all been so slow and I don’t think anybody has been out to the house since Tuesday.
“It seems they need to have a consultation before they do anything with it.
“They have cleared the garden now and gutted the inside but apparently the chimney is bowing, as is the wall inside so it can’t be very safe.
“It is annoying for everybody in the street who has to look at it all the time, but we have got used to it now – it’s a bit like a headache that you just can’t budge.”