Council helps turn more empty spaces into homes

The property in Julian Street is one of the recent properties to benefit from empty homes support from the Council.

  • Vacant space above an Indian takeaway in Albert Road that has been empty for seven years to be converted into four new flats
  • Property in Julian Street transformed thanks to financial help from the Council

Plymouth City Council has helped turn more long term empty properties in the city into homes, including vacant space above an Indian takeaway.

As part of the Council’s ongoing work to tackle long term empty homes, they have provided £150,000 financial assistance to convert a maisonette that had been empty for seven years above an Indian takeaway in Albert Road into four new flats. Construction is due to start imminently with tenants expected to move in around September. The Council has also provided £29,595 to help bring a property in Julian Street back into use.

It was recently announced that Council Tax on long term empty properties will be going up to 200 per cent on 1 April. The Council also announced that it was starting enforced sale proceedings on a derelict house in Beauchamp Road, and unveiled the dramatic transformation of the site at Widey Lane which the Council compulsorily purchased in 2016.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Housing and Cooperative Development for Plymouth City Council, said: “I am delighted that we have managed to bring more long term empty properties in the city back into use, and this also forms a key part of our ambitious new Plan for Homes.

“Homes that are left empty for a long time are a wasted resource, empty home owners could be losing up to £10,000 per year in rent, and they can also become an eyesore. They are subject to vandalism, vermin and anti-social behaviour, and can also reduce the value of neighbouring properties by up to 20 per cent.

“Where possible, our preference is always to work with empty home owners to help them turn their properties into a home that someone can live in, and these are both good examples of where we have been able to do that. But as we have shown recently, if we can’t do this we are prepared to take tough action if necessary with compulsory purchase orders or enforced sales – but that is always the last resort.”

The site at Julian Street is a three bed house that had been empty for two years and had damp, unsafe stairs, inadequate heating and needed a new bathroom and kitchen. The owner approached the Council after seeing publicity about its’ financial assistance scheme. It has now been fully renovated and will be let via the EasyLet affordable housing scheme.

More information

Like the Empty Homes Plymouth Facebook page, or report an empty home, or find out more about support for empty home owners in Plymouth here:

The recent press release on the transformation of the long term empty homes site at Widey Lane:

Kitchen in the newly refurbished property at Julian Street.