Furious Bellshill residents are fed up living next to an empty boarded-up house which they’ve branded a health hazard and an eyesore.
They claim the three-bedroom property in Bellvue Crescent hasn’t been lived in for the last four years and the owner has been making no attempt to find a buyer.
Carla Currie fears her adjoining home is now being affected by dampness originating from the house next door and she is worried about the impact this could have on the health of her baby daughter, Isla-Mae.
She says the house has been used by squatters and at one point a shed in the overgrown garden was a drinking den for youths.
Mrs Currie said: “We are hard-working people and it’s not right that we have to put up with this next door.
“This is a good street and the neighbours are nice. It’s embarrassing when we have people round to our house and they see what’s next to us. Everyone round here is fed up with it.
“We have sent a few recorded delivery letters to the owner, but haven’t had a reply. North Lanarkshire Council officers say they have contacted him and he says he doesn’t have the finance to sort things.”
Neighbour June McBride, who lives across the road from the empty house, added: “Every day I open my blinds to that eyesore. I’ve lived here for 36 years and love my house. I don’t want to move, but I don’t want that across the road.”
Mrs Currie said the house has been targeted because it is empty, with some people throwing rubbish over the fence into the overgrown back garden.
She went on: “My husband, David, put extra fencing up on our side to screen off the garden. I’ve chased youngsters away from the garden and it’s in such a dangerous state I’m surprised no one has been hurt. It’s like a haunted house attraction.”
The residents realise that because the former council house is now privately owned the local authority cannot be held responsible.
Nevertheless, Mrs Currie has asked for environmental health officials to investigate dampness which she fears will affect six-month-old Isla-Mae.
She said: “My daughter’s nursery is on the side of the empty house and there are now damp patches on the wall of her room.
“Water has been getting in next door so it must be coming from there. I don’t know what else the source could be. We’ve never had dampness until now and I’m worried that Isla-Mae could end up with asthma.”
A council spokesman said: “An environmental health officer will visit the property in the next few weeks to investigate the situation.
“In addition, our empty homes officer is liaising with both owners and looking into the matter.”