Abandoned £1m house sparks traveller fearsBy Laura Nightingale
February 01, 2013
AN abandoned 17th Century house in Hawley is causing a concern for people living near to the site following the arrival of squatters and fly-tippers and the fear that traveller caravans will make use of the large plot of land.
Hawley Farm House has been closed for two years after a burst pipe water led the owners to move out, said Dawn Hayward, who represents Hawley at Blackwater and Hawley Town Council.
The large property on Hawley Road is now falling into disrepair, stripped of copper wiring and causing a hazard with smashed windows and a damaged roof.
A few years ago the historic house was on the market for nearly £1 million but it is believed that the house is now unoccupied and has been repossessed. Councillors discussed the issue at its council meeting on January 28.
Paul Davidson, a father who lives close to the house, described the building as a serious health and safety risk.
“Inside the building sections of the roof and copper is missing and outside rubbish is appearing and there is smashed glass,” he said.
“I think it is dangerous and it needs to be boarded up as a matter of urgency.”
He said school children used the path outside the house and he was worried that overhanging branches would force pedestrians to step into the road.
Cllr Hayward said: “We are fearful of travellers and caravans taking the beautiful space.
“I really would like to know who owns it and if it is a resident or council matter to get it resolved.”
Cllr Adrian Collett, chairman of the town council, said it was their job to listen to residents’ concerns raised on this matter but it was not their responsibility, so he would pass their issues to Hart District Council.
Daryl Phillips, head of planning at Hart District Council, said: “Where residents come across a derelict building which is falling into disrepair they should contact the district council.
“There are some powers available to the council to require derelict buildings and untidy land to be cleaned up, Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
“Within the remit of the legislation there may also be some additional powers available under environmental health and housing legislation but it depends very much on the case.
“The key point being that the notices have to be served on the land and property owner.
“If a house has been repossessed or the title of the property not registered that will significantly complicate matters.”