Refurbishment is best for derelict buildings, FreshStart Living survey finds.

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Affordable property developer, FreshStart Living, has found that half of people in the property and real estate sector think that derelict buildings should be redeveloped into living spaces.

It’s a terrible shame to think that with the lack of affordable housing on the market, there are many derelict buildings out there going to waste.

Affordable property developer, FreshStart Living, has found that half of people in the property and real estate sector think that derelict buildings should be redeveloped into living spaces.

This is according to a new survey by FreshStart Living which revealed that 50 per cent of individuals would rather see an empty and disused building refurbished than knocked down to the ground.

Posing the question 'What should happen to the UK's derelict buildings?' the poll revealed that just 10 per cent of professionals would demolish the properties and leave the land space empty.

Four out of ten people would tear the derelict buildings down and build new, modern accommodation.

FreshStart Living specialises in transforming empty or underperforming buildings into affordable homes and buy-to-let properties, and sells at ‘real prices’ to investor landlords and first time buyers.

Charlie Cunningham, chief executive at FreshStart Living, said:

“The survey confirms what FreshStart Living has thought all along. Not only is it more cost effective to redevelop derelict buildings, it is less disruptive as well as being better for the environment.

“It’s a terrible shame to think that with the lack of affordable housing on the market, there are many derelict buildings out there going to waste. It’s up to developers like FreshStart Living to transform these buildings, which are blight on communities, and turn them into affordable properties which will benefit everyone.”

This research comes in the wake of an announcement from the government naming popular television presenter and architect George Clarke official advisor on empty homes.

At the time of his appointment, Mr Clarke said: "There are hundreds of thousands of empty homes that could and should be saved from the bulldozers and refurbished.

"I totally support the building of new homes when it's necessary but not when it's cheaper and quicker to refurbish empty homes than to build from scratch. It can be kinder to communities and the environment - and it makes sense in these tough economic times."

Housing Minister Grant Shapps also said that Mr Clarke has been a "phenomenal campaigner" against the scourge of Empty Homes and that Channel 4's documentary the Great British Property Scandal programme raised the issue up the government's agenda.

FreshStart Living has transformed several derelict buildings to date, including student accommodation building Montgomery House in Manchester.

The company is also currently redeveloping several underperforming buildings including St Thomas Place, a former mill in Stockport, which will be 52 residential apartments and Colonnade House Halls, a former office building in Bradford which is being redeveloped into 223 student pods.

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