Devon creams off Kent's empty property scheme
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
Kent's pioneering scheme to bring empty property back into
use has been picked up in Devon.
Teignbridge is the fifth authority outside the county to be
impressed by Kent County Council's No Use Empty project.
The district council follows the West of England partnership
(Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset and
South Gloucestershire) to launch their own initiative in
collaboration with KCC.
Since No Use Empty was launched in 2005, Kent has injected
£6million in the project and been recognised as the leading
authority on empty homes and commercial premises in the UK.
The initiative, run by KCC with the county's 12 districts, has
so far returned 2,300 empty homes to use.
Project manager Steve Grimshaw said the issue had risen up the
He said: "The fact that five authorities outside of Kent have
adopted the No Use Empty scheme underlines how successful we have
been in reducing the number of empties in the past seven
Cllr Philip Vogel, Teignbridge council's housing and planning
spokesman, said: "There is a shortage of quality housing in the
area and we recognise that empty homes are an important part of the
"The No Use Empty has been incredibly successful in Kent and it
will be hugely beneficial to be able to draw on the team’s
expertise and experience as we get our own initiative off the
Under the scheme, owners of empty homes can apply for
interest-free loans to help cover the cost of repairs and
Loans of up to £25,000 per unit (max. £175,000 per project) are
available to provide working capital to drive projects
forward. All loans are repayable in three years.
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