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Gov could compulsory purchase empty homes

Gov could compulsory purchase empty homes

Thursday 01 December 2022

Gov could compulsory purchase empty homes

Thursday 01 December 2022

Using compulsory purchase powers to bring vacant properties onto the local market is among the “drastic" measures” under consideration by the Government.

It was one of a number of actions listed in an ‘Action on Vacant Properties’ plan released by the Housing Minister, Deputy David Warr, yesterday.

New taxes, including an annual charge levied against vacant properties, have also been listed among the potential methods.

Deputy Warr said his department estimated the number of empty homes to be around 900 - 500 of which being second or holiday homes, 178 empty staff accommodation, 108 as "owner away long-term" and a further 125 were categorised as empty for "other reasons".

The action points, which aim to get the homes back into use, include creating a website before the end of January where islanders can report properties that have been empty for a long time or are in poor condition.

The report states that, of the future options being researched, "empty dwelling management orders" could be introduced to enable the government to take control of a property for a period of time to bring it back into use.

Compulsory purchase action is also being considered "where all other available options have been exhausted", and public interest in acquiring a property can be "proven".

Deputy Warr admitted that the latter method was "drastic" but said there was a "moral imperative" to address the issue of empty homes.

The report's key 'Action Points'...

  • Action 1 – collection of anonymous vacancy data through parish rate declarations in 2023 and progressing a law change to enable this to be collected formally in the future

  • Action 2 - set up a community-led reporting mechanism for Islanders to report homes they believe are vacant or in a very poor condition which is harming the environment. This will be supported by the new Empty Homes Service to be established in January 2023

  • Action 3 - work in partnership with the Minister for Environment to more proactively manage land condition and make better use of existing homes in the Island

  • Action 4 – help His Majesty’s Receiver General to identify vacant and ownerless properties and bring them back into active use

  • Action 5 - support States-owned entities in the purchase and redevelopment of vacant properties, whilst encouraging the development of local skills and meeting wider Government objectives for construction innovation and carbon neutrality

  • Action 6 - establish an Empty Homes Service to provide advice to Islanders, monitor and analyse demand and policy development, and, make referrals to the Regulation Directorate and HM Receiver General 

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Posted by BrianFrith76 on
Shouldn’t our Government be looking at empty and derelict properties they administer (eg St Saviours Hospital) before threatening compulsory purchase orders in the private sector? St Saviours, the Fort and many others have been derelict and underused for decades and should be their primary and most urgent consideration.
Posted by Madeline Bates on
I disagree with Brian Frith,who says the Fort has been derelict and underused for decades. I and many others used both the Fort Gym and exercise/dance classes for decades,until about 3 years or so ago,when they started closing parts down.It was always fully supported by both locals and visiters.The Gov't was hellbent of getting their hands on it, years ago,when they closed the much used swimming pool, to try and force people to use the Aquashplash,which they were pumping thousands of pounds into;It didn't work,as members just went to Les Quennevais instead.We had a Leisure centre to be proud of,if you look on Youtube. The Gov't won't rest until they turn it into flats or a hotel.
Posted by on
More government overreach.

They are determined to gain access to all our houses by any means possible. This is the first step under the disguise of "public health" and the "Environment" and the jealous disposition of many islanders who hate the fact that some people have done well in life.

There are many reasons houses are empty, since when did government have a say in what you can do with your personal property?
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