SWINDON Council is looking at taking over seven empty houses under powers given to it by the Government.

It is investigating whether to apply for empty dwelling management orders (EDMOs).

The orders allow the council to take over properties that have been empty for more than six months.

"It is recognised that properties remain empty for a variety of reasons," a council report says.

"After all voluntary measures have been considered and exhausted, we have the option of applying for an EDMO to take over the management of an empty property for a period of up to seven years.

"It is intended that EDMOs will bridge the gap between voluntary measures of advice and encouragement and existing enforcement measures such as compulsory purchase orders.

"There are currently seven empty properties that are suitable for EDMO action and will be pursued."