Both these houses have been neglected and unoccupied for many years. One is owned by the council and the other is being Compulsory Purchased by the council.

Vandalised, overgrown and routinely fly-tipped Heath Lodge in Grangewood Park, built in the late  19th century, has sat empty since the last tenant moved out eight years ago. However, after years of neglect and indecision including a proposal to auction off the building last June, the Lodge, which falls under the remit of housing rather than parks is to be repaired and used for housing once more.

This news comes after the Friends of Grangewood Park asked the council how an asset at a time of a so called housing shortage could be allowed to sit empty and rot?

In comparison this abandoned house at 98 Bensham Manor Road is on a residential street. Of a similar age and state, it is being Compulsory Purchased by the council.

The council has been trying to get a CPO (Compulsory Purchase Order) for it for years but have been unable until now to get it through the courts because of representations from the owners. It has cleared the site on a number of occasions and fenced it to prevent fly-tipping.

One might question why the council hasn’t spent the same amount of time on ensuring that its own ‘assets’ are equally well maintained?

Of course it’s fantastic that both these properties can potentially become family homes especially at a time when almost every other house and space in Thornton Heath, even gardens, are being converted in to flats, with what appears little thought for the surrounding infrastructure or affordable housing.

As an example these developments are in neighbouring streets:

A series of new build properties in two locations on  Heath Road. The first grandly named Nodia Mansions, is not yet built but has three bedroom ‘mews houses’ advertised for £595,000. While, Applegarth Court already built is offering nine units with two bedroom houses starting at £375,000.

Appletons estates is advertising ‘to let’ flats in a Victorian conversion in Manchester Road  even though the building collapsed and still doesn’t have planning permission.

The rear garden of 12 Heath Road, adjacent with Norfolk Road, (pictured right) is being converted in to a one bedroom. house.