Why are you looking to build new houses when we have properties sitting empty in our village?

It is true that there are a number of properties that have been unoccupied for too long in our villages.

It is important to realise there are many reasons why properties are empty.

Some may be empty where the owner is in hospital or in care, some where the owner has died and left no will and some where the owner is in prison.

In these instances we cannot force owners to occupy them.

We're aware of these properties and are currently revamping our procedures to ensure we are doing all we can to encourage owners to bring them back into use.

Where we have exhausted all possible avenues we have the powers to compulsory purchase the properties and to bring them back into use ourselves.