'Dangerous' empty home in Grimsby to get 'immediate' renovation
IMMEDIATE renovation work is to be carried out on an empty house after a mum-of-five told how she feared for her children's safety.
Joanne Friskney, 31, raised her concerns about the property in Winchester Avenue, Grimsby, claiming she doesn't allow her children to play in the garden because of the danger of falling roof tiles and discarded needles at the vandalised property next door.
She has lived in her Shoreline home since July, and said she had "no idea how bad" a condition the house was in.
"Most nights, kids come and smash the breeze blocks or just climb up the side of the house and in through the roof.
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"The roof tiles are always falling off and if one of them hit my kids, it could kill them."
Joanne has complained to Shoreline on numerous occasions, but the building – which is missing most of its roof – is privately owned.
Local residents say it has stood empty for about three years, and is a "hub" of anti-social behaviour. In the last two weeks, two fires have been started there.
And Humberside Police have attended the address eight times in 2011 and twice so far in 2012 to deal with reports.
Neighbours claim the previous elderly owner kept the house immaculate before his sudden departure after the death of his wife.
One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "The house used to be one of the nicest on the street. It was really well looked after."
However, since Joanne raised the issue with the Grimsby Telegraph, the council has been informed by solicitors acting on behalf of the owner that work will be carried out "immediately".
And it is understood that a security firm checks the property nightly.
Shoreline Housing Partnership's chief executive, Tony Bramley, said: "While the home we have provided is safe, secure and habitable, we understand and sympathise with the concerns of this family about the empty property next door to them.
"The local demand for social housing is extremely high, and once a tenant has chosen, viewed and accepted a suitable home they are unlikely to be offered another property within the first 12 months of their agreement.
"We would welcome any action by the local authority to bring the house back into use for the benefit of our current and any future tenants."
Jason Longhurst, head of development at North East Lincolnshire Council, added: "Solicitors acting on behalf of the owner have informed the council that immediate renovation work is due to take place on the property.
"The council has notified the owner that court action will be initiated to possess the house if works fail to take place in the next four weeks."