A DILAPIDATED house in Drimpton, belonging to the Magna Housing Association, is to be sold on the open market – despite local people needing a rented property.

It has been the subject of complaints from neighbours after being empty for almost two years with a rear lean-to falling down and the gardens overgrown. A public footpath runs along the side of the property, which is close to the village hall.

Magna say they are arranging for the grass to be cut and, after a review, have decided that the best course of action for the Spearmead property is that it be sold on the open market.

Said a spokesperson: “Following a review, in which we looked at options to retain it for social housing, Magna has agreed to sell this property. In the meantime, we are arranging to cut the grass outside it.”

The organisation did not answer a question about why the property had been vacant since March 2022, as neighbours claim, nor explain why it did not  maintain it in a good condition, although cavity wall insulation has been added recently.

The property was previously rented to Tony Gibbons, pictured, who was active in the community, including founding a food club, helping people to cook sustainably. 

“He would be devastated if he was still alive to see how Magna have just let his house disintegrate,” said a neighbour.

The decision to sell has caused consternation in the area with Broadwindsor group parish council vice-chair, Jacqui Sewell, saying that Magna should explain why the house is not being offered to local people as a property to rent.

“We have people on the housing register, both in Drimpton and nearby, desperate for rented housing. There are people who would take it up tomorrow, if they were offered,” she said.

Concerns have also been raised about what might happen if the property is sold to a developer with the building plot potentially providing an access route to a building site where housing has been refused in the past because of inadequate access.