KENT PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Thursday 19th June 2008 - 27 Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF - www.kentgreenparty.org 0845 257 4236 – 01732 355185 – Mobile: 07747 036192
MAKING KENT’S 25,000 EMPTY PROPERTIES ENERGY-EFFICIENT
There are about 25,000 empty properties in Kent – both homes and empty commercial premises (1). This is despite the No Use Empty initiative launched by Kent County Council with Dover, Shepway, Swale and Thanet Councils in 2005. This was extended to cover Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Malling and Tunbridge Wells recently. Figures for empty home for each council in Kent are as follows: Ashford – 1922; Canterbury – 1395; Dartford: 982; Dover – 1835; Gravesham – 542; Maidstone – 1564; Medway – 3127; Sevenoaks – 742; Shepway – 1557; Swale – 1365; Thanet – 1312; Tonbridge and Malling – 933; Tunbridge Wells – 1127. Steve Dawe comments:
“The huge number of empty properties in Kent – 18,403 homes and the rest empty commercial buildings – offer a considerable resource to the County for creating usable homes to the highest standards of energy efficiency. This would allow new residents or tenants to meet the challenge of rising energy bills. Since the Government is being challenged by MPs and many other organizations to do more to meet its 15% target for renewable electricity by 2020(2), it needs to release more resources to the Housing Corporation and to local councils to bring empty property into use.
“Empty homes and commercial properties are not the whole story. There are persistently empty sites on industrial estates that could and should be allocated to housing and associated facilities. But Kent councils have limited resources to do this, as long as central Government allocates so much of our tax revenues to itself.”
Ends c246 words
FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe on 01732 355185 or mobile 07747 036192. Contact address as above.
1. Last Empty Homes Agency figures for Kent: http://www.emptyhomes.com/documents/stats/se07.pdf which shows 18403 for Kent and Medway plus an estimated 40% more for empty commercial buildings based on national figures: Memo submitted by Empty Homes Agency to House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee report – Existing Housing and Climate Change, Vol II, oral and written evidence: p.EV88.
2. See for example the report of and evidence given to this recent report: House of Commons Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Committee: Renewable Energy-Generation Technologies: http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200708/cmselect/cmdius/216/216.pdf &