Plea for action on empty Sheffield home blight

Empty house on Avisford Road, Wadsley Bridge
Empty house on Avisford Road, Wadsley Bridge
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A house left empty for the last four years is blighting a Sheffield neighbourhood and has become a target for burglars seeking scrap metal, residents claim.

Sheffield Council – which has already stepped in to undertake maintenance work including replacing old windows – is being urged to take over the privately-owned property and let it out again.

Simon Rodgers, who lives next to the house on Avisford Road, Wadsley Bridge, said he believes the house was left empty after its owner died and there was a dispute involving its future.

But Mr Rodgers, a civil servant who lives next door with his wife and two children, said: “Although it’s a complex situation, something needs to be done because of the state of the house.

“The inside and garden are a mess – and it is regularly being broken into by burglars looking for metal.

“It is uninhabitable and, although the council has done some work, including fitting new windows which are being charged to the owner, they ought to take over the property.

“I understand that they do have powers to step in, renovate the house and rent it out.”

Mr Rodgers said he has complained to council housing officers and had contacted Brightside and Hillsborough Labour MP David Blunkett calling for urgent action.

“We need something done because it’s a blight on the area,” Mr Rodgers said.