House left empty for six years is ‘disgrace’

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Milton Keynes Council has been criticised for allowing a property to be left empty for more than six years while homeless families are placed in B&Bs outside the city.

Councillor Margaret Burke, who serves Bradville ward, claims she first complained about the council-owned property, a former nunnery in Bradville Road, about three years ago.

She said: “It is a disgrace that this building has been empty for six years.

“It could have been used to reduce the number of homeless households put in B&B in far off places like Luton and Kettering.

“I think it should be used as temporary accommodation in preference to B&B. In the longer term either the site could be developed for OAP bungalows or the building converted into flats.

“Whatever is decided the council must stop dithering. Leaving it empty for six years is a disgrace and a waste of money.”

A council spokesman said: “The listed six bedroom property was vacated in 2009 and is hard to market for sale because it is disproportionately expensive to maintain.

“We had been working with a local charity to use it for emergency housing, however, despite having gained planning permission, the charity have found the costs of conversion at £150,000 to be excessive and withdrew at the end of September 2013.”