House builder to fill its five years empty home

A Horsham man is pushing for housing associations to fill more empty homes after Southern Housing confirmed it is renovating its former town centre premises.

After months of campaigning, Antony Fletcher, of the Causeway, welcomed Southern Housing’s plans to convert its former offices in Denne Parade into a three bedroom home after five years of standing empty. It is one of 393 domestic properties in the district, which have been empty for more than six months.

JPCT 21-01-13 S13040697X  Anthony Fletcher, Denne Parade, Horsham  -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 21-01-13 S13040697X Anthony Fletcher, Denne Parade, Horsham -photo by Steve Cobb

Mr Fletcher, who helped set up London and Quadrant Housing, one of the largest landlords in the capital, said: “Sadly large housing associations have become big business and have forgotten that they are charities who should house those in the greatest need.

“These housing associations cannot be bothered with the small jobs and instead build large developments like the one which backs onto Denne Parade.”

There, on Brighton Road, Southern Housing have just built a block of 49 flats - 33 for social rent and 16 shared ownership.

Mr Fletcher is now pressing the London and Quadrant housing association to arrange temporary lettings to those who need them.

Liz Hills, Area Development Manager at Southern Housing said: “In February, Southern Housing Group will submit a planning application for the change of use of the property at 5a Denne Parade.

“As the property has been used as office space for more than 20 years, it is not currently fit for residential purposes.

“If our planning application is accepted, we will then be able to convert it to a three bedroom family home.”

Horsham District Council also looks into domestic properties if they are found to have been empty for more than six months helping bring them back into use.