Sunderland council must force owners to bring empty properties up to standard

As the development of the seafront stumbles on, public attention is being focused upon the next plans being submitted for the former Marriott Hotel.

These will consist of more rooms, around 27, being added to the 80 already there, which will add more pressure upon the already reduced number of parking places that are either reduced or planned to be as more new houses are built.

With the recent planning application by Miller Homes to build 67 new houses on precious green space, despite a massive number of people voting against the plan, will exacerbate a problem already there and one which is going to increase as more houses are built.

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However, attention to seafront problems take public attention away from other areas of the city where conditions are nearing breaking point.

Areas of concern are Pallion, where litter is piling up and many houses are boarded up and in need of repair. They are being ignored by rogue landlords who are depriving the homeless of accommodation.

This situation is not confined to the north side of the city, but also areas such as Hendon, particularly in the cottage streets in the area of the former Ivy Leaf Club.

These once smart cottages are being boarded up by landlords, who care little for the damage they are creating by lowering the value of other cottages in the area.

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Hendon, many years ago, was recognised as an area of clean streets and well maintained cottages.

A place where houses kept their value.

Alas, that is not the situation now, as cottages are losing their value by boarded up empty houses which are lowering house values.

Is it now time that Sunderland City Council used the powers they have and force owners of these empty properties to bring them up to standard?

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Coun George Howe,

Fulwell ward