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Run-down £2m house is finally to go on market

PUBLISHED: 17:52 07 June 2007 | UPDATED: 14:33 07 September 2010

A DILAPIDATED Belsize Village house which has lain derelict for 20 years is about to spark a frenzy among developers. Mavis Meredith, whose husband Ben died earlier this year after a long battle with cancer, says she will

By Marc Mullen

A DILAPIDATED Belsize Village house which has lain derelict for 20 years is about to spark a frenzy among developers.

Mavis Meredith, whose husband Ben died earlier this year after a long battle with cancer, says she will put their home on Belsize Lane up for sale as soon as probate is granted.

The house is expected to fetch at least £2million, even though it needs major refurbishment work to return it to its former glory.

Ms Meredith said: "Because the house was in joint names it has to be put into my name before I can sell it. As soon as probate has gone through it will be put up for sale.

"Over the years we have had plenty of interest from people wanting to buy the house - I have two files on it.

"We planned to carve out a smaller townhouse for us on the side and sell the rest of the house, but that never happened."

The couple bought the four-storey house in 1978, when the ground floor was a bookshop.

In the mid-80s it became a bric-a-brac store and the house began to fall into disrepair when the couple went to live in Africa.

When they returned they lived on the top floor of the house leaving the other three full of antiques.

After many of the antiques were taken in a robbery, Mr Meredith had a steel door put on the property.

In 2005 the council considered seeking a compulsory purchase order to buy the property because the couple refused to deal with falling masonry.

And the council is currently pursuing an enforcement action against Ms Meredith to force her to carry out essential repairs to the outside of the building.

She said: "I don't think all of these problems helped Ben at all as it was a constant worry to him. He was having a lot of treatment for his cancer, which left him pretty weak."

Ms Meredith is in talks with Lexingtons estate agents about selling the property once she is given outright title.

Lexingtons declined to comment on how much the property would be sold for.

Hampstead councillor Chris Knight, who lives in the village, said: "Residents will be delighted that this property is to be sold and put back into use.

"It is the only part of the road which is tatty.

"It would be nice to return the lower part of the building to retail use as we want a village with shops."

mark.mullen@hamhigh.co.uk

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