First UK Non-Political Party


Repurposing vacant properties (Video Transcript)

Repurposing vacant properties.

For the 7 years I have now lived in Stratford upon Avon I am dismayed that I see so many unused properties. Good properties in prime locations that have sat vacant for years. It seems the council are doing nothing about it or do not have the power to do anything about it. I also see this in other areas around the country, such as in Blackpool where beautiful old nostalgic properties are left to rot away. Something has to change, and I suspect it will need a change in the law, which is where, as a politician if I represent you, I can bring a new law to the house of commons. I would like to use Stratford upon Avon as a test constituency to get all vacant properties repurposed for the local community. Here is my approach:
If a property is left vacant for more than one year and does not have an active development project running, it can be repurposed by the local community to benefit the community. I would set up an elected local committee made up of residents and not the council. These residents would not be connected in any way to developers or property companies, with their key objective to support the community and not to make profit on the property.

Each repurposed property would have a lease for 5 years, with a minimal rent paid to the owner. If the property is used for commercial purposes, it would be rates free. After 5 years the owner can decide to take the property back if they have a plan to use the property appropriately and pays for all the improvement costs spent on the property. If they don’t take this option a further 5-year lease is issued, and the cycle continues.
Once a property has been identified, people will be invited to submit a proposal for the properties use, including how it will be funded. Each proposal will be reviewed by the committee and if appropriate to the community, put up for the residents to vote on.
Projects would be to support local housing needs, youth development, rehabilitation and mental health support, tourism, small businesses or regeneration of areas. Besides getting this working for the Stratford upon Avon constituency it would work well throughout the whole country.