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'It demeans our district' - councillors vote to raise empty property charges

PUBLISHED: 16:41 22 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:41 22 November 2019

A levy on long-term empty  properties is set to double after councillors raised rates to stamp out unused homes. Pictured, a stock photo of a street of houses. Photo: Iceni Homes

A levy on long-term empty properties is set to double after councillors raised rates to stamp out unused homes. Pictured, a stock photo of a street of houses. Photo: Iceni Homes

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A levy on long-term empty properties is set to double after councillors raised rates to stamp out unused homes.

District councillors in north Norfolk voted to increase the additional charge for homes which have been empty for more than 60 months to 200pc of their council tax rates.

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Councils were granted legal powers last year to increase the levy on homes empty for longer than 24 months from 50pc to 100pc of the rates.

And additional powers have now been granted to up the charge to 200pc for properties vacant for five years.

Speaking at a meeting of North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) full council on Wednesday, November 20, Eric Seward, portfolio holder for finance, said: "We can now charge 200pc which is another financial incentive, we hope, when people are hanging on to empty properties to do something about it.

"I think there is an agreement inside this chamber and outside it that empty properties demean our district."

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