The following are examples of comments made by respondents:
- The strategy is going in the right general direction, but more focus should be given to enforcement action where properties are in poor condition
- The Council should prioritise bringing empty properties back into use that will meet the needs of homeless households and those with specialist needs (for example, adaptations)
- More resources should be put into dealing with empty properties, as this will result in better outcomes
- More should be done to bring empty properties back into use in order to reduce the need for building new houses
Some respondents also referred to the Council Tax Premium of 25% on long term empty and second homes, with differing views on the impact this has on bringing empty properties back into use.
A consistent theme emerging from a number of consultation responses was that the Council needs to increase its activity around the enforcement of empty homes. Comments included:
- There should be ‘zero tolerance’ of empty properties, and in particular those that are in poor condition and adversely affecting neighbouring properties
- The Council should make better use of compulsory purchase powers to bring empty properties back into use
- Greater use should be made of the enforcement powers that already exist to tackle empty properties
We would very much like to thank all respondents to the consultation for their constructive input. This was used to inform the final draft of the strategy, which was approved in December 2019.
The Empty Homes Strategy will be subject to periodic review and a further consultation exercise will be undertaken each time to ensure it captures both residents’ and empty property owners’ views on what is working, what could be improved, and what our priorities should be.
To view the empty homes strategy, please click on the link below:
Empty Homes Strategy