We are all aware of the ever increasing need for new homes and that is evident by the continuing pressure being put on Greenfield sites, but here are a couple of ideas that are being used by councils in an attempt to alleviate the problem without taking away green spaces.

Hastings Council are looking at dozens of empty properties across the borough that can be bought utilizing compulsory purchase notices that would bring them back into use. The council sees this action as bringing good quality houses back into use and reduce the number of potential eyesores around the town, as some properties looked almost derelict.

The local authority has actually used this successfully and in the last four years has bought forty-two homes in this manner to bring them back into occupation. It is considering similar action on a further twenty-seven privately-owned homes. The tackling of these empty houses also reduces acts of anti-social behaviour associated with empty buildings, such as vandalism, drug-taking, arson and the dumping of rubbish.

Some of the properties have been empty for the best part of ten years and the council is in the process of contacting owners saying that they will be taking out the notices of compulsory purchase unless they bring them back into an occupied state. Locals are 100% behind what the council is doing and it will be interesting to see whether this type of scheme is taken up elsewhere.

Meanwhile in Jersey they are looking at redeveloping a disused gas storage site at Gas Place in St Helier to provide three hundred new homes. The land has become available after Jersey Gas relocated its gas storage to a new 7.5m site at La Collette. The scheme involves building one, two and three bedroom houses, parking spaces, with the addition of ten commercial units and an area of park as well.

The development hopes to bring affordable housing in the centre of St Helier by utilizing a brownfield site, which is a great idea that I’m sure could be used across the country. And would provide more construction work too, so the need for Dickies safety boots looks set to continue, so why not get your order in now.