Brent Council’ empty property team have helped a small developer realise his derelict warehouse project.
When Yousuf Anwar and his family invested in a derelict warehouse on the corner of a residential street in 2012, they did not fully realise the extent of the challenge ahead of them.
They planned to convert the two storey building into flats. But finances, planning details, lack of experience and squatters got in the way, and the building in Franklyn Road remained empty.
Three years later they attended the landlord forum at Brent Civic Centre.
“Meeting the grants team at Brent Council made the whole process fall in place,” said Yousuf. “The talk from the council’s empty properties officer, Jacqueline Connerky, was enlightening. The empty properties team encouraged us and demonstrated how they could help us achieve our ambitions. With Mirella Marmitte’s help (Empty Property Officer), the development ended up being the most successful project that I have been involved with so far in my life.”
Yousuf was awarded an empty property grant to turn the derelict warehouse into self-contained apartments: four one-bed, two two-bed and two three-bed flats. Since May last year, the eight flats have been rented out through the council to families and managed by Network Homes on a 10-year extended lease.