SERIOUS concerns have been raised over a house in Appleton which has been empty for more than 25 years.

As reported earlier this month, 2,482 residential properties in Warrington are empty in what has been labelled as a ‘disgrace’.

Among the unoccupied sites is a home located on Hinton Crescent.

It has sparked concerns from residents and councillors in the area.

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Cllr Judith Wheeler, who is becoming increasingly frustrated over the situation, says she chases the issue up around once a year.

She added: “I, and councillors before me, have been trying for years to get this empty property on Hinton Crescent in Appleton back on the market.

“It would be one of the more affordable family properties in Appleton – something we badly needed and, in fact, someone has posted a note on the door saying they would like to buy this property.

“One of my main concerns is that this is a semi-detached property in a residential road and the neighbours have had to live with the overgrown unsightly garden for years.”

The council’s housing team confirmed it has been vacant for more than 25 years but was unable to be more specific.

The authority insists it always try to work with owners to bring long-term empty properties back into use where possible.

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A spokesman added: “We have tried to negotiate with the owner to either rent or sell this property and they have refused to do so.

“We have taken enforcement action in the past and continue to monitor the condition of the property and gardens.

“A compulsory purchase order is an option in such situations.

“However, it involves a lengthy, and often costly, legal process that carries no guarantee of success.”

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Councillors have also been informed that pursuing an empty dwelling management order, or a compulsory purchase order, would create a precedent, with there being at least four other properties in the borough ‘worthy of such attention’.

In total, 1,438 of the 2,482 empty homes in the town have been vacant for six months or more.