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HOUSING MINISTER HINTS AT CHANGE IN COMPULSORY PURCHASE LAW

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Lord Falconer has revealed that the government is to consider making ...
Lord Falconer has revealed that the government is to consider making
sweeping changes to housing law, after his first visit to Liverpool.
The minister for housing and planning said his department is ready to make
an announcement in the autumn which will create a short cut for council's seeking to invoke compulsory purchase orders.
Lord Falconer hinted at changes while touring the streets of Picton for
nearly an hour on Friday after an invitation from Liverpool City
Council to see how abandoned properties can block regeneration.
The council is appealing for the government to consider a change in the law
so that abandoned houses can be bought quickly without having to go through a protracted CPO procedure.
It also urged the minister for a change in the rules so it can buy privately
owned properties for renovation or demolition. The council argues that the changes would halt some areas of the city falling into further deprivation, avoiding the need for drastic regeneration projects in the long term.
Lord Falconer said: 'Both of the things that the council has called for are
reasonable and achievable. I am expecting us to make announcements in the autumn that will allow councils to do exactly what Liverpool is seeking.'
Cllr Richard Kemp, executive member for housing and neighbourhood
services, said: 'We were delighted that Lord Falconer came to see the problems facing regeneration in the inner city.
'We wanted him to see a community that can be rescued with government help.
We are greatly encouraged by his comments and look forward to working with the government on bringing new life to parts of Liverpool.''
Lord Falconer added that he hopes to come back to Picton in two years time.
He said: 'I would be deeply disappointed if I did not see improvements.'
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