Council to tackle eyesore sites across the city

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OWNERS of derelict sites that have been branded eyesores in Leeds are being warned action will be taken as part of a regeneration drive.

Over recent years there has been a growing number of eyesore sites across Leeds – these are mainly as a result of the economic downturn, although some properties have been disused for many years.

So far Leeds City Council has identified 40, and set aside a rolling budget of £500,000 to focus on improving the condition of properties, bringing them back into use or redeveloping sites.

It will not only focus on the worst properties in the city but also those which have the greatest impact upon local residents and businesses. It will look at both privately owned buildings as well as the council’s own assets.

The council will work with owners in the first instance, and where necessary will use enforcement powers to ensure properties no longer remain a nuisance. The work is ongoing and the sites identified will increase as further research is done.

Coun Peter Gruen, the council’s member for neighbourhoods, housing and regeneration said: “This is very good news for many local people because the sites we have identified are clearly eyesores for the city.

“We understand only too well that poorly maintained buildings impact on the lives of local residents and do not do anything to help improve areas, and therefore we are taking action.

“Enforcement action is a last resort but something we must use where necessary. We are determined to send a clear message to owners that they must maintain their properties in good order.”

Coun Richard Lewis, the council’s member for development said: “We want Leeds to be the best city in the UK and make sure that all the town centres as well as the city centre are both visually exciting and well maintained.

“Through effectively tackling eyesores across the city, we will improve the potential for future investment from the private sector, and maintain civic pride across the city and districts.

“Leeds has a number of exciting developments taking place the moment, but we want to ensure that we look to regenerate beyond the city centre to change all our communities and neighbourhoods.”