Fylde Council in bid to reduce number of vacant homes

Some long-term empty homes in Fylde could end up being compulsorily purchased.

The plan is being looked at by Fylde Council in a bid to reduce the number of vacant homes and ensure they can be used for people to actually live in.

There are 634 long-term empty properties in Fylde

There are 634 long-term empty properties in Fylde

Council figures show that, as at this month, there are currently 634 long-term empty residential properties in the borough and 123 properties which have been empty for two years or more.

The long term empties are down by 54 on the peak figure in 2013 – but still up by 50 on the figure for October 2017.

It was hoped that a national change in council tax rules for such houses, brought in 2014, could start to have an impact.

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A report, to be looked by Fylde’s Environment, Health and Housing Committee on November 6, will hear that this change introduced a council tax premium to be levied on properties that had remained empty for two years or more.

The premium is an additional 50 per cent of the council tax charge which means that 150 per cent of the council tax for the property becomes payable.

The Adopted Local Plan for Fylde, up to the year 2032, also states that: “The council will identify and bring back into use empty housing and buildings in line with local housing and empty homes strategies and, where appropriate, acquire properties under compulsory purchase powers.”