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Issue 346 – “Eyesore property” set for auction

A BOARDED-up property in Chestnut Close, Frome, will be put up for auction at the end of March, marking the end of nearly a year of upset for local residents.
Number 3 Chestnut Close is set to be put up for auction by the property’s owner, Lambeth Council in London, following action taken from a local councillor.
In March 2011 Frome Times reported the plight of 85-year-old Ron Keefe who lives at number 5 Chestnut Close. He was subjected to “piles of rubbish” which was piled up outside his neighbouring house.
After contacting Mendip District Council Frome Times learned that the property was owned by Lambeth Council in London. Within two days of reporting the story, the property was cleaned up, with Lambeth Council boarding up the house to prevent squatters entering the property.
Now, Mendip district councillor, Adam Boyden, has made contact with Lambeth Council after receiving complaints that the boarded up house is an eyesore. He said, “Last autumn I was contacted by a local resident about the ‘over the top’ boarding up of number three Chestnut Close.
“Along with the poor state of its back garden and fencing, I agree that this does nothing for the appearance of the neighbourhood.
“Since then, I have been in touch with Mendip District Council officers and other councillors, and Lambeth’s officers and councillors many times on this issue, to try and ensure that the house is re-occupied as soon as possible.
“After initially raising this with Mendip’s housing and environmental health officers last autumn, it quickly became clear that the delays in getting the property occupied once again were because the house is owned by the London Borough of Lambeth.
“Lambeth intended to sell the property on, either privately or to a local housing association, but this was taking time to arrange.
“But a few days ago, I heard from Lambeth’s assistant director for housing and the news is that Lambeth intend to sell the house at auction within a month.
“So I hope this has helped resolve the matter and the property will be reoccupied shortly by new owners or tenants.”
Lambeth Council cabinet member for housing, cllr Lib Peck said, “We have taken successful legal action to evict squatters from this property. It has been robustly secured and alarmed and is earmarked for sale at auction in March.”

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