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Decision details

The City of Sheffield (104 Mill Road) Compulsory Purchase Order 2021

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved (subject to call-in)

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

The purpose of this report is to seek authority to make a Compulsory Purchase Order in respect of 104 Mill Road, Sheffield, S35 9XQ to allow it to be renovated and occupied. 

Decision:

17.1

The Interim Executive Director, Place submitted a report seeking authority to make a Compulsory Purchase Order in respect of 104 Mill Road, Sheffield, S35 9XQ (the Property) to allow it to be renovated and occupied.  There is demand for this type of property within the area. The Property is empty and has a particularly detrimental effect on the neighbourhood in this area. Compulsory Purchase is the most appropriate course of action.

 

 

17.2

RESOLVED: That:-

 

 

(a) authority be given to the Council to make a Compulsory Purchase Order ("CPO") under the powers conferred by Section 17 Housing Act 1985 to acquire all land interests in respect of the land coloured pink as shown on the Order Map, attached at Appendix 3, with title ‘The City of Sheffield (104 Mill Road) Compulsory Purchase Order 2021’ (the "Order Land");

 

(b) the Director of Legal and Governance be authorised to make the CPO for the Order Land, to take all necessary procedural steps prior to and after the making of the CPO, to enable the CPO to be submitted to the Secretary of State for confirmation including:

 

i)    Finalising the attached draft Statement of Reasons, at Appendix 1;

ii)   Serving notices of the making of the CPO on all persons entitled to such notice and placing all necessary notices in the press and on/around the Order Land;

iii)  To submit the CPO to the Secretary of State for confirmation as soon as possible following making of the CPO; and

iv)   To self-confirm the CPO if authorised to do by the Secretary of State.

 

(c) the Director of Legal and Governance be authorised to sign and serve any notices or documents necessary to give effect to these recommendations and to take all the other actions necessary to give effect to these recommendations.

 

(d) as soon as the CPO is confirmed by the Secretary of State  or self -confirmed  where authorised by the Secretary of State, the Director of Legal and Governance be authorised to advertise the confirmation of the CPO and serve all necessary notices of the confirmation and once the CPO becomes operative, the Director of Legal and Governance in consultation with the Executive Director of Resources be authorised to execute General Vesting Declarations under the Compulsory Purchase (Vesting Declarations) Act 1981, at the earliest opportunity and to thereafter serve all necessary documents and notices of the vesting of the Order Land in the Council;

 

(e) the Interim Executive Director Place, in consultation with the Director of Legal and Governance and the Executive Director of Resources be authorised to manage the compulsory purchase process in accordance with all statutory requirements  and to otherwise promote or supporting the promotion of confirmation of the CPO including the preparation of and giving of evidence at any public inquiry;

 

(f) the Chief Property Officer be authorised to agree terms for the acquisition of Order Land and to instruct the Director of Legal and Governance to complete the necessary documents.; and

 

(g) upon the completion of the acquisition of Order Land, the Chief Property Officer be authorised to  negotiate the disposal of the land and to instruct the Director of Legal and Governance to complete all the necessary legal documents for the completion of the disposal. 

 

 

17.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

17.3.1

The Property has been vacant since at least July 2015 and is in a poor state of repair and is having a negative impact on the local community. There is a demand for this type of property within Sheffield and the Council has, without success, attempted to engage with the property owner in an effort to get the property back into occupation, including an offer to purchase the property by agreement.  In addition, particularly in respect of recent enforcement action taken by the Council, the owner has failed to take reasonable steps to make the property safe.  In those circumstances, as an option of last resort, the Council consider, to ensure to property is put back into occupation, that it is appropriate to seek a CPO in respect of the Property.

 

 

17.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

Demolition

The Property is in a state of disrepair empowering the Council to take various steps to remedy the problem, including renovation and demolition.  As the Property is a mid-terrace house, the demolition option would not be practical. Demolition will not result in the provision of housing as it is believed that the owner would not rebuild should this option be taken.

 

Renovation

The Council’s Private Housing Standards team first visited the Property in July 2015 and found it be vacant. From this date, the Council has not observed, or received any information, that the property has been occupied.  The owner has taken no steps to prevent its deterioration despite the Council writing on several occasions to the owner to express their concern over the condition of the Property and asking for the owner to explain their intentions for renovation and bringing the property back into occupation. Additionally, in October 2017, an Improvement Notice was served on the owner in order to remove Category 1 hazards observed at the Property. No action has been taken in response to this notice as was noted during inspections of the Property in November 2018, September 2019, August 2020 and January 2021. It is therefore unlikely, should the Council do works in default, that this would result in the improvements to the Property being sustained. In those circumstances this option would be a poor use of limited resources and unlikely to achieve its purpose.

 

Empty Dwelling Management Orders

These orders enable the Council to effectively step into the shoes of the owner and manage the property. However, prior to occupation, the Council would have to refurbish the property. Given the poor condition of the property, the cost of bringing it up to a habitable condition is likely to be significant. Furthermore, it is doubtful that the rental income would cover the costs within the timescale of the EDMO, which is seven years. Therefore, it is highly likely that the Council would be unable to recover the significant costs of refurbishment, making this option inappropriate.

 

Purchase by Agreement

The Council have actively pursued this option which would have enabled it to sell the Property at auction so that it could be renovated and reoccupied. On 21 February 2018, the Council wrote the owner to offer to purchase the property by agreement. No response was received by the Council to this letter. On 5 August 2019 and again on 17 August 2020 and 26 January 2021, the Council repeated this offer. No response was received to these letters.

 

Compulsory Purchase

All attempts at working with the owner have failed, as detailed in the Statement of Reasons. Due to the owner’s failure to take proper action, the property, for which there is a demand, has remained in a poor state of repair for a significant period and there is little prospect of it being brought back into occupation. For these reasons, Compulsory Purchase is the preferred option.

 

 

17.5

Any Interest Declared or Dispensation Granted

 

 

 

None

 

 

17.6

Reason for Exemption if Public/Press Excluded During Consideration

 

 

 

Appendix 4 of the report is not for publication by virtue of Regulation 20(2) Local

Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012 because, in the opinion of the proper officer, it contains exempt information under Paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended) and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.

 

 

17.7

Respective Director Responsible for Implementation

 

 

 

Mick Crofts, Interim Executive Director, Place

 

 

17.8

Relevant Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee If Decision Called In

 

 

 

Safer and Stronger Communities Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee

 

Report author: Neil Dunk

Publication date: 18/02/2021

Date of decision: 17/02/2021

Decided at meeting: 17/02/2021 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents: