Councillors have backed Government plans to increase council tax for long-term empty properties in the District.

At a meeting on 16 January, Cabinet members recommended that the Long Term Empty Property Premium, currently set at 50 per cent, be increased to 100 per cent from 1 April for properties that have been empty for two years or more.

From 1 April 2020 properties empty for five years or more will incur a 200 per cent levy and from 1 April 2021 those empty for 10 years or more will have to pay a 300 per cent premium.

Cllr Toby Morris, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “There are 46 homes in the District that have been empty and unfurnished for more than two years which could be being used for people who really need a home. Demand for property is rising and this initiative will go some way towards meeting it.”

It was agreed that exemptions should include members of the armed forces, properties that are genuinely for sale or let and annexes.

Further information:

Communications: t: 01993 861615 / 861616 or e: communications