Home ... The Council ... CCC ... more council tax

more council tax

Canterbury City Council has outlined an action plan to bring empty and derelict properties in the town back up to scratch. There are 19 sites being looked at, including prominent buildings on the seafront and also the former St Philip Howard School. Aidan Barlow reports

Property owners who refuse to bring derelict eyesores back up to scratch could face a 150% council tax hike under new plans announced by the city council. The new power to impose the penalty will be decided in April, and is part of the council’s effort to boost the regeneration of Herne Bay. Council officer Patrick Rynne said 19 buildings were identified in Herne Bay in May last year. This followed public fury at the lack of progress to improve eyesore buildings such as the Bun Penny pub on the seafront. Mr Rynne said:

“Across the district we think there are as many as 500 properties which need care and attention, with about 150 empty for Longer than two years. In Herne Bay we have focused on 19 buildings as they are all quite prominent in the town. They are clustered around the seafront. As a council we can only deal with so many at a time. So we’re trying to hit the ones in the public domain which are affecting the amenity of the area. They are the buildings which are getting the most complaints. We are able to trace owners through council tax. So even if they are still paying, perhaps for a second home, they can still be found. But we’re really going for properties that look as though they are abandoned, as these are the ones which need to be brought back up.”

At a meeting of Herne Bay counclilors last week he outlined the carrot and stick approach. Property owners can be given Interest-free loans worth up to £25,000 to carry out the works as part of the No Use Empty Scheme. Another option is for the council to take over buildings, rent them out and use the income gained to pay for the improvement works. Mr Rynne said one of the sites to benefit from the interest-free loan was the owner of the former guest house at 95 Central Parade. Mr Rynne said:

“Improvement works are due to start there at the end of next month.”

He added that progress has now been made on many other sites, with sales being agreed, and planning applications ready to be submitted.

Demolition underway at boarded up ‘bomb site’

The owner of 64-65 Central Parade, on the corner with Market Street, has started the demolition of the eyesore building. Gazette readers had previously compared the building and boarded-up shop to a Second World War bomb site. But council officer Patrick Rynne said a pre-planning proposal has been submitted to the council’s planning department, and meetings have taken place. He said:

“They are looking at having a commercial ground floor retail or restaurant space with accommodation above. That would help to keep the vibrancy of the seafront and would probably be a requirement we would Impose. The only possible argument might be the total number of flats and the form that they might take.”

Herne Bay Gazette, March 26th 2015

Check Also

Albion Rovers, and why I fell out with Cameron

There are now just two weeks until the general election, and political parties have began …

One comment

  1. Patrick, I have found out about the glass ball on the clock tower .It was mercury gilt on the inside just like the very old mirrors regards kevin