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Decision details

The City of Sheffield (1, 3 & 5 Mount Pleasant) Compulsory Purchase Order 2021

Decision Maker: Co-operative Executive

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

The purpose of this report is to seek authority to make a Compulsory Purchase Order in respect of 1, 3 & 5 Mount Pleasant, Sheffield, S35 2WD to allow the properties to be renovated and occupied. 

Decision:

14.1

To seek authority to make a Compulsory Purchase Order in respect of 1, 3 & 5 Mount Pleasant, Sheffield, S35 2WD to allow these dwellings to be renovated and occupied.  There is demand for this type of property within the area. The dwellings are empty and have a particularly detrimental effect on the neighbourhood in this area. Compulsory Purchase is the most appropriate course of action.

 

 

14.2

RESOLVED: That Co-operative Executive:-

 

1)    That 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 of the report, with title ‘The City of Sheffield (1, 3 & 5 Mount Pleasant) Compulsory Purchase Order 2021’ (the "Order Land");

 

2)    That the Director of Legal & 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:

 

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

b)    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;

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

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

 

3)    That the Director of Legal & 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;

 

4)    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 & 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 & 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;

 

5)    That the Executive Director Place, in consultation with the Director of Legal & 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;

 

6)    That 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

 

7)    That 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. 

 

 

14.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

14.3.1

The Dwellings have been vacant since at least 2010 and are in a poor state of repair, attracting anti-social behaviour and are having a negative impact on the local community. There is a demand for these types of dwellings within Sheffield and the Council has, with limited success, attempted to engage with the Property owner, in an effort to get the Dwellings back into occupation, including an offer to purchase them 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 Dwellings safe.  In those circumstances, as an option of last resort, the Council considers, to ensure the Dwellings are put back into occupation, that it is appropriate to seek a CPO in respect of the Property.

 

 

14.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

14.4.1

Demolition

 

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

 

 

14.4.2

Renovation

 

An officer from the Council’s Private Housing Standards team first visited the Properties in February 2010 and found them be vacant. From this date, the Council has not observed or received any information, that the properties have been occupied.  The owner has taken inadequate steps to prevent their deterioration despite the Council writing on several occasions to the owner to express their concern over the condition of the properties and asking for the owner to explain his intentions for renovation and bringing the properties back into occupation. In addition, the Council has served Improvement Notices in respect of category 1 hazards observed that do not appear to have been complied with. It is therefore unlikely, should the Council do works in default, that this would result in the improvements to the Properties being sustained.  In those circumstances this option would be a poor use of limited resources and unlikely to achieve its purpose.

 

 

14.4.3

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.

 

 

14.4.4

Purchase by Agreement

         

The Council have actively pursued this option which would have enabled it to sell the Property at auction, so that the Dwellings could be renovated and reoccupied. The Council has written to the owner on a number of occasions offering to purchase the Property by agreement. No response was received by the Council to these offers. If the owner was willing to engage, this is an option the Council would wish to pursue.

 

 

14.4.5

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 Dwellings, for which there is a demand, have remained in a poor state of repair for a significant period and there is little prospect of them being brought back into occupation. Compulsorily purchasing the Property is currently the only feasible option to ensure the renovation and re-occupation of the Dwellings. For these reasons, this is the preferred option.

 

 

14.5

Any Interest Declared or Dispensation Granted

 

 

 

None

 

 

14.6

Reason for Exemption if Public/Press Excluded During Consideration

 

 

 

None

 

 

14.7

Respective Director Responsible for Implementation

 

 

 

Interim Executive Director, Place

 

 

14.8

Relevant Scrutiny and Policy Development Committee If Decision Called In

 

 

 

Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee

 

Report author: Neil Dunk

Publication date: 27/09/2021

Date of decision: 22/09/2021

Decided at meeting: 22/09/2021 - Co-operative Executive

Effective from: 02/10/2021

Accompanying Documents: