Five houses that have stood empty for more than TWELVE years are owned by Thames Valley Police, it has been revealed.
The former police houses in Newport Pagnell are a “scandalous” example of police mismanagement of their budget, it is claimed.
Former Newport Pagnell councillor, Irene Henderson, has been calling for action on the houses for years.
“Time and time again I have brought these properties to the attention of the Police Authority and pressed for them to be made available as desperately needed homes for homeless families,” said Irene.
“Time and again, we’ve been told that they could not be let because the site was about to be redeveloped.”
The crunch came when Irene heard of the force’s plans to scrap its MK-based mounted section because of funding problems.
“Before police make their decision about the mounted unit, I would strongly advise that they look at their management of resources which is, in my view, seriously flawed and a quite scandalous example of their mismanagement,” she said.
Irene calculates that the houses could have brought in more than a quarter of a million pounds in rental payments.
“It is shameful that the Police Authority has left them standing empty and allowed to rot,” she said.
The houses are in roads close to the old Newport Pagnell police station in the high Street. Most are believed to have three bedrooms and would be ideal family homes in a central part of town, said Irene.
A spokesman for Thames Valley Police said: “Thames Valley Police is considering a number of options for redevelopment of the Newport Pagnell site in its entirety. Consideration has been given to an option of letting the houses however, due to the proximity of the operational police station, this was not a viable option due to the impact on security and constrained access.
The station and houses will be in use while Milton Keynes Police Station undergoes refurbishment, but TVP’s intention remains to dispose of the houses and station as one redevelopment opportunity. They are unsuitable for rental at this time as they have been stripped of many basic services and are not in a habitable standard.”