Council to get tough on empty property

A district council desperate to bring empty dwellings back into use to ease the housing crisis is set to bring in new rules.Breckland Council want to replace their existing empty dwellings policy in a bid to free up the 1031 unused properties in the area.

A district council desperate to bring empty dwellings back into use to ease the housing crisis is set to bring in new rules.

Breckland Council want to replace their existing empty dwellings policy in a bid to free up the 1031 unused properties in the area.

Should the move be given the go-ahead by councillors, housing officers will be tasked with tracking down the owners of empty properties.

Once the owner has been found they will be asked why it is empty, if they could bring it back into use and offered a repayable loan of 20per cent of the refurbishment costs.

If still no progress is made then enforcement action can be taken where the council take over management of the building and repair it.

The council will then let it out, using the rental income to cover the costs of repair work.

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In the report before the policy development and review panel it states, “Breckland Council recognises empty dwellings are a wasted resource at a time of housing scarcity.

“Returning such dwellings to use, or demolishing then to free up land for redevelopment can help meet housing needs at relatively little cost.”

The number of empty dwellings will be tracked through consultation with different sources.

The policy development and review panel will decide whether to approve the new policy on Wednesday September 3.