A Deputy is calling on the Government to do more to make sure vacant properties are lived in, before more fields are lost to housing.
Deputy Montford Tadier has lodged a proposal which, if passed by the States Assembly, will oblige the Government to present options on how empty properties can be brought back into use.
It will also mean ministers have to draw up and implement an “effective mechanism” to discourage property from being left vacant for long periods.
The St. Brelade representative said: “This proposition comes at a time comes at a time that grave concerns are being expressed by members of the public with regards to plans to rezone green fields, and other sensitive environmental locations, for development.
“This sentiment has been expressed to all politicians from residents all over the island in the many emails, and no doubt conversations and phone calls, that we have all had.
“In my time as a constituency deputy, I have always made it clear that I would oppose inappropriate building in St Brelade. I feel the same, more generally, about agricultural or open spaces being turned over to development, wherever that might be in the island.
“At the same time, there is much waste in the built environment, with a great deal of residential properties – potential homes for Jersey families – being left empty, unused.
“This is despite several reports and policies flagging up the problem and calling for action. These empty properties should be seen as an opportunity to fulfil some of the current housing demand.”
In 2011, one in fourteen (7%) of all private homes in Jersey – 3,103 dwellings - were empty on the day of that year’s Census.
Scrutiny reported in 2015: “It is clear from the available evidence that a reduction in the vacancy rate from 7% to 5% could have a significant impact on the supply of housing, as it would mean that nearly 900 homes would be back into use. To put it into perspective, 900 houses would count for over two years’ target for supply through development in the Island Plan.”
Deputy Tadier wants the Government to pick up on this work, as well its own, to tackle the long-recognised issue of properties which have no one living in them.
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