Derelict building to be transformed to provide homes

Work is set to begin on an empty building to provide much needed accommodation and the chance for residents to make plans for the rest of their lives.

The double-fronted property has been unoccupied for several years and is in a state of disrepair.

The West View property, in The Plocks, Blandford Forum, was identified by the empty homes team which tracks down and works with property owners to turn empty properties into good quality homes.

The team secured funding and it was purchased directly from the owners by Dorset Council in 2021.

Builders will start working to create six bedrooms at the two-storey property imminently.

It will become stable accommodation for people within the Dorset Council area. A council housing representative to be available to help residents make plans and support their decisions to move on to permanent accommodation.

As well as the internal refurbishment, the façade of the property will be improved making it in keeping with other well-kept properties in the area.

In the meantime, there may be some disruption to neighbours and motorists as materials are delivered and trade waste is taken away. The council apologises in advance for any inconvenience caused during the work which will be completed by the New Year.

Once finished, the building will provide temporary accommodation for people who urgently need a roof over their head.

Councillor Graham Carr-Jones, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “Not only will these be much needed stepping-stones for a more stable future for people in the Dorset Council area, but will become an asset to Blandford.

“By purchasing such long-term empty properties like West View, the council will be giving people a breathing space in much needed accommodation with the support to move on to more permanent homes as well as using money in a more sustainable way than high-cost bed and breakfast accommodation.”

New residents could be in the renovated property by the New Year.

Dorset Council pledges to work with registered housing providers, community land trusts and housing partners to deliver suitable and decent housing. There is also a commitment to provide the right housing options including temporary accommodation, care homes, extra care, supported living and affordable homes to buy and rent. 

If you are aware of an long term empty property which the council could use for much needed accommodation contact the team via Empty properties – Dorset Council

Picture shows Councillor Graham Carr-Jones at West View as the property currently looks.

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