Rat house: MP calls for action

MP Dr Caroline Johnson has called for authorities to take action over Metheringham's 'horror house'. EMN-191009-131738001
MP Dr Caroline Johnson has called for authorities to take action over Metheringham's 'horror house'. EMN-191009-131738001

Sleaford and North Hykeham’s MP has waded into a battle for villagers wanting action over a neglected property in Metheringham which has become a dump site.

Dr Caroline Johnson has met with a local resident about the issue, after being asked at one of her local constituency surgeries to assist in getting something done about the unoccupied property.

MP Dr Caroline Johnson has called for authorities to take action over Metheringham's 'horror house'. EMN-191009-131726001

MP Dr Caroline Johnson has called for authorities to take action over Metheringham's 'horror house'. EMN-191009-131726001

She has now called upon a range of authorities to halt the dangerous accumulation of waste on the site.

The large stone property, on the corner of High Street and Princes Street, appears to require urgent repair due to neglect, which local people reported as causing serious issues with vermin in the past.

Two years ago neighbours and residents complained that the property was infested with rats, frightening passers-by, including young school children, as they scurried past inside and outside the property. Some of the creatures were even photographed licking the windows to drink the condensation.

A North Kesteven District Council spokesman said all previous requirements for action and work to be undertaken had been carried out satisfactorily.

A six week course of action was undertaken in 2017 following the outcry to remove the vermin. Council pest control officers had found up to 25 rats after going in to deal with the problem with agreement from the owner.

The council had also said the homeowner had agreed to undertake a schedule of building maintenance, housekeeping, chemical control and environmental management, to minimise the risk of future infestation.

However, it appears the unloved property has become a dumping ground again.

After visiting the site, Dr Johnson said: “My constituent is understandably very concerned that the property is now a major health hazard and fire risk, and I want to do what I can to push the responsible agencies to act to resolve this.

“I have sent letters to NKDC, the Environment Agency and Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue to ask for this case to be promptly investigated.”

An NKDC spokesman said it is looking into the latest concerns: “Following recent representation from within the community, a range of officers are investigating the situation and formulating appropriate responses to the concerns raised.

“A joint site visit involving officers from across a range of specialist disciplines – environmental health, planning enforcement, empty properties and external agencies – plus local councillors is being arranged to establish the current situation and scope any necessary actions.”