Dozens of homes in Doncaster have been empty for more than 10 years

Doncaster Council statistics shows Jarratt Street in Hyde Park has three homes that have been empty for ten or more years. Picture: George Torr
Doncaster Council statistics shows Jarratt Street in Hyde Park has three homes that have been empty for ten or more years. Picture: George Torr

Dozens of homes in Doncaster have been empty for 10 years or more, new figures show.

One Doncaster estate agent said she knew of one property that has been empty for 25 years while a campaign group added it was 'concerning' for people waiting on the list for a council house.

The street was made famous by Doncaster pop star Louis Tomlinson after he filmed on of his music videos there. Picture: George Torr

The street was made famous by Doncaster pop star Louis Tomlinson after he filmed on of his music videos there. Picture: George Torr

Latest statistics provided by the Empty Homes campaign shows Doncaster has over 1,600 empty properties - the highest in South Yorkshire as of 2017.

Freedom of Information figures show Doncaster has 234 homes that have been empty for more than five years - 95 of those have been vacant for more than 10 as of June 2018.

For those properties that have been empty for more than 10 years, Jarratt Street in Hyde Park has three. The road was made famous after Doncaster pop star Louis Tomlinson shot one of his music videos there.

Thorne Road in Intake has two properties empty along with Askern Road in Bentley, Markham Avenue in Carcroft, The Abbey's Walk in Burghwallis and Lock Lane in Thorne,

Mick Werritt, director of property services at St Leger Homes

Mick Werritt, director of property services at St Leger Homes

Doncaster Road in High Melton has four homes empty for more than five years,

St Leger homes said they were working with Doncaster Council to deliver a 'number of initiatives' aimed at bringing privately owned, long-term empty properties back into use

Will McMahon Director of the Empty Homes campaign, said: "Doncaster has the highest rate of long-term empty homes in South Yorkshire, with over 1,600 empty according to latest government statistics. That 234 have been empty for more than five years must be concerning to both people who live close by to them, as well as those who are on the housing waiting list.

"We encourage all local authorities to have an empty homes strategy and employ dedicated staff who can tackle empty homes. Certainly, the British public want local authorities to do more to tackle empty homes. In polling 76 per cent said their local authority should place a higher priority on tackling empty homes.

"We hope that Doncaster Council will take part in the National Empty Homes Week 2018 is scheduled to run from the October 15-21.

"Every year local authorities, housing providers, community-led organisations and others see Empty Homes Week as an opportunity to organise events and put out information so that people know about their work to tackle empty homes."

Alison Telford-Simms is a sales manager at Doncaster estate agents Diamond estates. She said they're adopting an approach from others across the country.

"I spoke to someone recently who said they've had an empty property for 25 years. I was surprised by that, it is a bit worrying with the housing crisis. They said they just hadn't got around to it.

"People with empty homes will have inherited them and not decided the best way of splitting the sale. Some are deceased estates where family cannot decide how to proceed with a much loved family home, others have fallen into disrepair.

"I'm not in favour of encroaching on the green belt. Developers and the council should be looking towards existing brownfield sites and renovation when they want to increase housing supply."

Ms Telford-Simms said they are rolling out their 'Rent to Own' scheme in which the tenant or buyer agrees to purchase the property over a set period of years.

The price is set at its increased future value and the tenant rents the property in the usual way paying their rent plus a 'deposit top up'.

She added it may encourage property owners to release housing where it may have sat empty for a number of years.

Mick Werritt, director of property services at St Leger Homes, said: "Working in partnership, St Leger Homes has continued to deliver a number of initiatives aimed at bringing privately owned, long-term empty properties back into use. This has included purchasing properties and offering grants which enable owners to once again offer these homes to families and individuals in need of accommodation.

"With support from Doncaster Council, enforcement action against the owners of long-term empty properties is also being undertaken where appropriate.

"As part of Team Doncaster and Doncaster Growing Together, St Leger Homes are also currently exploring a number of new ideas and initiatives to help reduce the overall number of privately owned empty properties."