Council ready to move on reducing empty and neglected homes

Abandoned home in Lossiemouth
Abandoned home in Lossiemouth has lain neglected for over 20 years

A STRATEGY AIMED at reducing the number of long-term vacant properties has been approved by Moray Councillors.

At a meeting of the planning and regulatory services committee this week Councillors were told that there were 110 properties in Moray that have lain empty and fallen into disrepair.

Now under their new strategy the local authority is aiming to take legal action against the owners in an attempt to force them into addressing the problem – and where ownership cannot be determined, the council take control of the buildings.

Highlighting one particular building in his own ward, Heldon & Laich councillor John Cowe said that it was an issue that had grown to an extent where neighbours of derelict properties were now “living in fear”.

Referring to ‘Brae Lossie’ on Prospect Terrace in Lossiemouth, Councillor Cowe said that one neighbour has to lock herself in her bedroom because she was afraid of the antisocial behaviour that went on in the derelict building.

At Tuesday’s meeting, councillor’s agreed on venues being ranked through a grading system that took account of their visual impact and potential for renovation. Head of development services, Jim Grant, said: “Unless we are more proactive about this then these buildings will continue to sit there.”