Council plans to bring empty properties back into use

Thursday 10th February 2022 7:00 am
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Powys County Council
(Pic from Powys County Council website )

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A plan which could bring empty properties in Powys back into use was considered by Cabinet this week, the county council has said.

Developed in collaboration with the Welsh Government, Powys County Council has produced its Empty Property Action Plan.

The plan, which sets out how the council can improve and develop its approach to bring empty properties back into use, was considered by Cabinet yesterday (Tuesday, February 8).

Empty properties in town centres, villages and surrounding neighbourhoods represent an underused community asset and lost opportunities to accommodate housing or commercial solutions that are tailored to fit the needs and demands of the local area, Cabinet will be informed.

Cabinet was told there are 993 homes in Powys that have been empty for longer than 12 months.

If the plan is adopted by Cabinet, the council will be eligible to apply from the Welsh Government’s Empty Property Management Fund – a £15.2m package that supports action to bring long-term empty properties back into productive use.

Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, cabinet member responsible for housing service, said: “Empty properties can have a detrimental impact on an area and also represent a waste of resource.

“This plan allows us to tackle such properties, as a last resort, but we will always seek to work with the owners of such property to bring them back into use, regenerating derelict sites.”

Cabinet also considered an increase in rental prices for council residents.

As part of its plans, a council house rent increase of 3.1 per cent is being considered.

The increase, which equates to an average of £2.55 per week, is necessary to fund the service as well as allow the council to continue with its maintenance investment plans for the existing 5,446 council houses.

The proposed rent increase will also help fund the council’s investment programme of providing 250 new homes by 2025, a programme the council is planning to increase.

Council-owned homes remain among the most affordable in Powys.

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