The house where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal used to live has been purchased by Wiltshire Council.

The property at 47 Christie Miller Road has been lying empty since the Novichok attack which nearly killed Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia in March 2018.

Police believe the deadly nerve agent was sprayed onto the door handle of the four-bedroom property.

Following a deep-clean completed in March 2019, Wiltshire Council has decided to buy and refurbish the house to bring it back into use.

Once refurbished, it will be offered as a shared ownership property to local residents, in-line with the council’s affordable housing policies, with a legal stipulation that it must be used as a residential property, that it may not be sub-let, and that nobody can trade on its history.

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “It will be good to see this house used as a home again.

“Throughout this process, we have been in regular contact with the local residents, and after consulting with them we have agreed to refurbish the property and offer it for purchase under our shared ownership scheme, at an agreed market rate.

“During the coming months, we will rebuild and refurbish the property to bring it back into use as a home, and to protect local residents, we will ensure that the property will not be used for anything other than a home.”

The possibility Wiltshire Council may buy the property to prevent it from becoming a tourist destination was first reported last year.

Cllr John Walsh, who represents the Fisherton and Bemerton Village ward, said the council’s plan seemed “pretty reasonable” and no concerns had been raised by residents nearby.

“The council have looked at this quite carefully. They’ve gone to great lengths to make it safe and it would be a great shame if they spent time and money to knock it down.

“Because there’s a shortage of houses and the price will be competitive, I would be surprised if it stays empty for long.”

The flat in Muggleton Road, Amesbury, where Dawn Sturgess was fatally poisoned has been demolished.

Get more Salisbury news and nominate your local heroes for the South Wiltshire Hero Awards.

You can also like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date.

If you want online news with fewer ads, unlimited access and reader rewards - plus a chance to support our local journalism - find out more about registering or a digital subscription.

Email with your comments, pictures, letters and news stories.