East Devon District Council

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Policy Empty Homes Strategy

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6. Appendix action plan

1. priority

Monitor the number of long term empty properties from information on the Council Tax (CT) Register.

Target

Monitor and target up to date data on empty properties within East Devon quarterly.

Completion date

Quarterly

Outcome

To target actions.

Action

Obtain quarterly monitoring statistics from Council Tax (CT). Target long term empty properties.

2. priority

Availability and access to CT data for empty homes investigations and enforcement.

Target

To enable a conclusive, legal agreement to share data.

Completion date

October 2015

Outcome

To access effectively and efficiently data on specific long term empty homes from Council Tax data.

Action

To obtain an agreement regarding the availability and access to CT data.

3. priority

Living over the shops (LOTS) scheme.

Target

Identify 5 potential schemes.

Completion date

March 2019

Outcome

Provision of additional affordable accommodation and the use of empty space.

Action

Work with Planning within the market town areas of Exmouth, Honiton, Axminster, Sidmouth and Seaton to identify schemes where it could be possible to offer LOTS scheme loans.

4. priority

Review the partnership arrangement with Exeter Empty Homes Service in light of the work that is being carried out on Long Term Empty Property.

Target

To consider whether this is an appropriate use of resources.

Completion date

Annually

Outcome

Provision of an effective and efficient service.

Action

Annually report on the partnership arrangements and ensure this is value for money.

5. priority

Trace and contact owners of empty properties.

Provide advice and assistance to empty home owners to bring their properties back into use.

Target

30 properties target from CT data annually.

Completion date

Ongoing

Outcome

30 cases (over 12 months empty), showing work in progress or occupied.

Action

Contact all owners of empty properties over 12 months, from CT annual data.

6. priority

Enforcement.

  • Project based
  • Reactive

Target

Make use of all enforcement tools including: Compulsory Purchase, Housing Act 2004, Enforced Sale, Prevention of Damage by Pests Act, Statutory Nuisance, etc

Completion date

Ongoing

Outcome

Using enforcement as a tool to bring empty properties back into use, where owners are unwilling to carry out works or the property is causing a nuisance. This action will advertise to other owners of such properties that the council is prepared to take statutory action.

Action

Project based – complete the Enforced Sale of 5 long term empty properties in the same ownership.

Project based – assess the most appropriate actions for 2 (4) long term empty listed buildings, potentially these properties are candidates for Compulsory Purchase.

Reactive - complete 10 enforcement actions (PDPA, Statutory Nuisance, Housing act) reactive complaints.

7. priority

Loan Fund Assistance – for owners of empty properties including the Living over the Shops (LOTS) scheme.

Target

Provision of 5 loans.

Completion date

Ongoing

Outcome

To encourage and assist owners of non-decent empty properties to bring them back into use.

Action

Work with WRT to deliver 5 loans.