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Colin James

Abandoned House In Newton Farm

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This was posted on our FaceBook page today:

 

Does anybody know the owner of 29 pixley walk . It was abandoned over 15 years ago and it's left to ruin . It's now a health hazard and a total eyesore on the estate . Also now the gates have blown down its open to children and one of them will be seriously hurt before long . The council don't seem to want to know.

 

Pixley Walk.jpg

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Empty for 15 years - unbelievable in this day and age .

 

Surely the Enviroment Health should be having some concerns, as should the local Councillor .

 

Perhaps as it's been empty for so long that the local Housing Association should take it over and a local family should be allowed to move in after it's been refurbished to an acceptable standard .

Edited by Ubique

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The council don't seem to want to know.

 

They will have an interest as the property is liable to Council tax. There are various exemptions like properties left empty as the occupant is in prison or if the owner is in a care home etc.

 

A house that needs a fair bit of work doing to it to make it fit to live in (might apply here) is liable to Council tax with a discount given at the discretion of The Council.

 

I'd certainly expect the local Councillor for Pixley Walk to get on this case immediately as it's an eyesore.

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Surprised that the neighbours haven't been shouting from the roof tops to the Council and the Cllr.

Plus of course the chance of squatters moving in .

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As it has been deteriorating for so long it would be interesting to know what if anything the Council has done. It certainly looks like it should be considered by their Empty Homes/Environmental Health/Planning Enforcement teams.

What have the local councillors (and perhaps ex local councillors) done about it?

If it was local to me I would not be happy

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having worked with the tenant living next door to this private property as local councillor prior to May this year, I had environmental health visit the property and they agreed to get in touch with the owner who was known to them as they knew the history of the house. Having got in touch with the tenant living next door to this house this evening I asked her what was happening she told me Nothing! since you were no longer our councillor, they have not taken it further. Herefordshire Housing said they would put a fence up between the two houses but it would cost the tenant next door £750 she said she could not afford to find this money, offered to pay half and HH refused her offer. I have now given the tenant the phone number of Cllr Edwards, and asked her to keep me informed as to the outcome. If nothing is done this will be one of many issues that will be taken up when the Residents Association for Newton Farm is launch in a few weeks time.

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It doesn't need a fence, that the neighbour has to finance, to separate her garden from the problem next door. It needs the garden cleared to a reasonable condition. I'm sure no one is looking for the Hanging Gardens Of Babylon to appear but it's ridiculous this is still dragging on if authorities are fully aware of the issue ..... 

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The tenant has small children and she feels that they cannot play outside because of the house next door. As I said above environment dept know where these homeowners live now and they were supposed to of got in touch for them to clear the garden nothing has happened. I had already told them as the then local councillor to clear the garden and bill the homeowner, they assured me they would, this was in April this year. The estates manager for Newton Farm said they put the fence up but the tenant would be billed for the £750 cost, personally I think it is Herefordshire Housing responsibility with a duty of care to their tenant and her children, The estate manager was asked if he would live next to the the house he said NO that says it all to me, he would not live there himself but they expect the tenant to! 

Edited by Glenda Vaughan-Powell

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Fifteen years!

 

Blimey. I know things move slowly in Hereford, but fifteen years is a very long time. I wouldn't want to be living next door to that.

 

Glenda, at what point were you first aware that there was an issue with this property?? And following on, at what point in the past were environmental health in discussions with the owner?? 

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As I said above environment dept know where these homeowners live now and they were supposed to of got in touch for them to clear the garden nothing has happened. 

 

What is going on? That is a potential £120k property if made reasonable. Plus rent on that is quite a good income if the owner rented it out. Is the situation that someone died and a child/children have taken it on? What is the Council Tax situation? 

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Dippy - I first became aware of this property 6 years ago, at that time no one knew where the owner was, that was also the time I got involved initially, and although I got in touch with the council enforcement team because they get involved with private homeowners they could not find them, which left my hands tied, that said I kept going back to enviromental health to ask them to do something because the house was deteriorating . Then when other people started complaining I started my investigation again, then out of the blue another officer said he knew where they were, and as I said above I told them to clear the garden because people had also told me they saw rats there, and bill the owners.

 

Roger - The house belong to an elderly lady and when she died she had left the house to the granddaughter in her will, she was just 20 years old, she moved in with her boyfriend but not long after they broke up and she moved out. I  am surprised that she did not sell it and bank the money while it was still in good condition, but being young she just walked away, she wanted nothing to do with the house and over the years left it to get in the state its in. It would take at least in my estimation about £50,000 if not more to put it right.

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Roger - The house belong to an elderly lady and when she died she had left the house to the granddaughter in her will, she was just 20 years old, she moved in with her boyfriend but not long after they broke up and she moved out. I  am surprised that she did not sell it and bank the money while it was still in good condition, but being young she just walked away, she wanted nothing to do with the house and over the years left it to get in the state its in. It would take at least in my estimation about £50,000 if not more to put it right.

 

Who is she and more importantly how is she? I don't want names but money down the drain indicates she is not on top of her game. What is the help level for her at the moment? I can't believe I'm typing these questions and that people are not on top of this already ..... 

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With a property bequeathed to her I truly truly hope she is not receiving any benefits.  Controversial I know but true

 

With a £120k asset (OK it's run down so knock £20k off) she wouldn't qualify for benefits. Glenda might well know this lady's circumstances .... 

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Roger which is more or less what I was saying but she is not getting any financial benefit from the property and may have had a memory lapse about her assets! 

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Absolute rubbish.  Possess the property, Repair it, sell it and put the profit into the coffers to help the rest of the rate payers. Either that , or make the owner put it right. Too much softness here. If I let my house get into that state I would be bombarded by ultimatums to correct it pronto, and quite rightly. If, as suggested, she has had a memory lapse then someone should tell her. Hard hearted? Yes I might be. But I am fed up of paying all sorts and getting bugger all for it. If the lady concerned does not want the house, or does not know it belongs to her then inform her or sell it. If she is in care, then the house will pay for some of it exactly like a care home.

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I do not know her present circumstances,or where she is living bearing in mind she is now 35 years old, and when I asked the officer when all the neighbours and I met with him at this property he would not tell us anything about her, he just said he would deal with the problem which he didn't .The young mother living next door to this house told me a couple of days ago when I spoke to her,as  I am not the councillor for NF now they have not dealt with the problem, although the officer promised me he would. I have suggested going to the press, if she get no satisfaction from Cllr Edwards. I wait with bated breath where this councillor is concerned if his past track record is anything to go by. I have suggested to her to join the residents association with that behind us we can do something about this for her.

Edited by Glenda Vaughan-Powell

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Well, if you've had no joy sorting it out over the past six years, Glenda,I'm not sure how much joy you think Phil Edwards will have had in the last few days.

 

Sounds like it is a problem which has been known about for quite some time, and filed in the "too difficult" pile by various folks.

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As I asked the tenant to let me know the outcome from her contacting Phil Edwards, she has not come back to me, so I take that to be he hasn't responded to her request for help.

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Well, if you've had no joy sorting it out over the past six years, Glenda,I'm not sure how much joy you think Phil Edwards will have had in the last few days.

 

Exactly. I don't think crawling over Phil Edwards is a fair criticism bearing in mind the history of this address. Which I was unaware of until this topic cropped up on this site. 

 

The way forward is for the Authorities to get this sorted out. 

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But Glenda, like I say, it doesn't sound as if this tenant has had any success in getting anybody to help sort this issue out!

 

Those who have known about this problem for six years surely must take a little responsibility for it not being resolved??

 

It reminds me a little of that other eyesore, The Whitehouse Pub.

 

Marcelle Lloyd Hayes trumpeting her attempts to move this project forward in her election bumph, yet precisely nothing seems to be happening..... it is still a monstrosity, and has been for well over four years!

 

Perhaps the tenant should contact Phil Smart?? His tenacious approach may well get this problem sorted!

 

Fair play to Phil, he sticks with issues until they're resolved. That's one of the things I like about him.

Edited by dippyhippy

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Those who have known about this problem for six years surely must take a little responsibility for it not being resolved??

 

If a small problem is too big to solve in Pixley Walk then what hope is there for the High Town Bomb site? What are Councillors doing other than putting out surveys/consultations when the result has already been agreed anyway for parking or roads to nowhere? Just a shambles in my book .... 

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Dippy, I did my best in the circumstances over 6 years, I went to the right people in the council they did nothing, I still worked with the tenant and the neighbours right up to the election. In regards to Phil Edwards there are many people in Newton Farm, Hunderton and Belmont who doesn't share your view of him as to getting things done, I am still getting people in Newton Farm coming to me asking for my help, as they have contacted him and they tell me they have got no response.

 

In regards to Mr Smart Herefordshire Housing do not recognise him to help their tenants.

Edited by Glenda Vaughan-Powell

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Dippy, I did my best in the circumstances over 6 years, I went to the right people in the council they did nothing, 

 

So you suggest that as an Elected Councillor you were wasting your time? And who are the 'right people in the council' ? 

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In my mind it appears that neither the Council or the Ward Cllr(s) did enough to have this bad situation resolved . As Dippy said , it was put into the " to difficult tray " to rot , hoping that it would go away . It hasn't , it's been left for others to hopefully resolve .

 

As Roger said , it doesn't bo well for the situation in High Town .

 

Now back to feeding 5 two week old hoglets which somebody took responsibility for and rescued them.

Well , Mrs U is feeding them , i am the Runner !

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Glenda, I am in no position to offer an opinion on how quick - or otherwise - Cllr Edwards will work to resolve this issue. I'm merely pointing out that it seems a tad unfair to expect him to have this sorted in a matter of days, when many others, yourself included, have had no success in six years.

 

That is all I'm trying to get across.

Edited by dippyhippy

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Loss of council tax for a period of 15 years say £9750.00. This is just one house I wonder how many more there are. No wonder this county is on it's knees.

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Roger - no I never ever felt I was waisting my time for the people of the Belmont ward that I represented, and just before the election I did get another garden cleared, I had had enough of waiting for HHL to clear it so I went to the press, surprise, surprise the morning the press and I arrived on site HHL men was clearing it when we arrived. The people in the council I went to was the enforcement team, and enviromental health, as I said before while I was the councillor they promised me it would be sorted right up to April this year it was only when I saw the house on here and went back to the tenant next door that I found the council had broken their promise to sort it out once and for all.

 

Dippy - you are obviously a fan of Mr Edwards, but his track record is not good for sorting things out in the past few years, also bearing in mind he was not seen in Newton Farm or Hunderton for the last four years prior to canvassing for the election in May. You do not have to believe me just ask the people he represented then and now on Newton Farm.

Edited by Glenda Vaughan-Powell

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Dippy - you are obviously a fan of Mr Edwards, but his track record is not good for sorting things out in the past few years, also bearing in mind he was not seen in Newton Farm or Hunderton for the last four years prior to canvassing for the election in May. You do not have to believe me just ask the people he represented then and now on Newton Farm.

 

......Glenda , you must accept that for what ever reason the residents of the Ward voted for him .

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