MORE than 250 empty homes have been brought back into use in the last year.

A report, discussed by Barnsley Council’s ruling cabinet members on Monday, says the local authority’s empty homes programme has had a ‘significant impact’.

An example of such work is on Carlton Street, Grimethorpe, where the council bought 22 Yorkshire Housing properties at a cost of just £13,863 per dwelling - homes which had been unoccupied and had fallen into disrepair but are now back in use.

The report said: “Over the last year, 252 empty homes have been returned back to use, smashing the annual target of 93. In addition to returning empty properties back into the housing stock, 2018-19 saw 1,090 new homes built, including 167 that were affordable, providing more and better homes for our existing and growing population.”

Latest performance figures show the council brought 171 homes back into use between April and December last year, reducing the number of long-term empty homes by four per cent - bucking the national trend which has seen a rise of six per cent.

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Homes which have been empty for between six months and two years stand at 935, while the two-year to five-year bracket includes 311 homes.

Five years to ten years represents 167, while there are 72 homes which have been empty for more than ten years - a total of 1,485 across the borough.