Councillors vow to use all powers available to tackle eyesore sites blighting communities across Breckland

PUBLISHED: 12:57 11 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:57 11 July 2017

Breckland councillor Paul Claussen. Picture: IAN BURT.

Breckland councillor Paul Claussen. Picture: IAN BURT.

Councillors have vowed to use all powers available to clean up eyesore sites across Breckland.

District councillors have identified unsightly, derelict and potentially dangerous and unstable buildings which have a significant detrimental impact on their immediate and wider environment.

Residents have also been encouraged to identify problem sites.

On Monday, Breckland Council’s cabinet members agreed a plan of action.

Councillor Paul Claussen said: “These neglected sites can be a real blight, spoiling the appearance of their neighbourhood and attracting anti-social behaviour.

“We want to help provide a clean, safe and well-kept district for our residents and our plan is to contact the owners and work with them to improve these sites.

“However, if there are cases where owners do not cooperate, I am determined that we make the most of the powers we have to ensure action is taken.”

Resources will be focussed on buildings suffering from serious long-term neglect, and those that are unsafe or are attracting anti-social behaviour.

Following Monday’s approval, council officers will begin contacting the owners of prioritised sites.

Progress will be recorded on an action plan so members can monitor the actions and outcomes for each site.

Meanwhile, cabinet members also approved allocating £230,000 to support the regeneration of Breckland’s market towns.

The money will be spent on projects which will strengthen the economic, social and cultural standing of Dereham, Thetford, Attleborough, Swaffham and Watton.

To date, the Market Town Initiative has funded a range of small-scale projects, including improving signage in and around town centres, revitalising flowerbeds, and holding communtiy Christmas events.

Mr Claussen said: “As is the case in many parts of the country, Breckland’s high streets and town centres are facing real challenges, such as competition from out-of-town shopping centres, nearby cities, and online shopping. I’m pleased to see considerable funding being put behind this initiative and a commitment for Breckland Council to work with its partners to further promote and protect our market towns.”

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