Daughter clashes with council over ‘rundown’ house

OOPS! -- the house on Watnall Road, Hucknall that isn't empty after all. Pictured there are Ashfield Labour councillors Steve Carroll (left) and Ken Knight, of Hucknall

OOPS! -- the house on Watnall Road, Hucknall that isn't empty after all. Pictured there are Ashfield Labour councillors Steve Carroll (left) and Ken Knight, of Hucknall

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A DISGRUNTLED daughter has demanded an apology after Ashfield District Council wrongly pinpointed her father’s house as empty and dilapidated.

The Dispatch reported a fortnight ago that the council had won a £3.5 million grant to work with landlords to restore hundreds of neglected properties.

A photo call was arranged — at the council’s request — at a house on Watnall Road, Hucknall, where a window is boarded up and the garden overgrown.

The home was considered an ideal example of one that could benefit from the new scheme.

But now Barbara Banner, of Hucknall, has contacted the Dispatch to say that, in fact, the house belongs to her father, Alan Thornley, and is still in use!

The only reason it was boarded up was because there had been a break-in. The culprit had since been punished after his DNA was found on wine he stole from the house.

Mr Thornley is in a care home temporarily, and his family are planning to give the house a facelift. But that has been delayed.

Barbara said: “This is not a house that belongs to a landlord and would come under this scheme. This is a family home.”

Ashfield Council says it has known about Mr Thornley’s house since 2009 when concerns were raised about its condition.

A spokesman said: “The issues raised regarding the poor condition and the welfare of the elderly occupant of the property were dealt with by both the environmental protection team and the private-sector enforcement team, who worked with the occupant and his family.

“As a result, the occupant was moved to safer accommodation while the family considered the future of the property.

“The house has since remained empty and the private-sector enforcement team has been monitoring progress to return it back to use.

“The team is in contact with the family and is offering advice on a way forward.

“In addition, following the photo-call at the address, it was noted there was a serious water-leak and, as such, the family was notified immediately to restrict further damage to the address and neighbouring properties.

“The family is very co-operative and dealt with this swiftly. It remains in regular contact with the team.”