Bromley’s wasted resource – 300 empty homes

Bromley is the last local authority in London not to charge the empty homes premium on council tax.

Bromley council spends £ millions each year on temporary accommodation. It rehouses homeless households as far away as Canterbury and Birmingham.

The council figures for empty residential properties as of September 2022 are:

  •  246 empty for 2 to 5 years.
  •  62 empty for 5 to 10 years.
  •  27 empty for over 10 years.

The above property is “Northdene “in the road known as Beckenham Place Park. It has been empty for over 14 years. There were two fires at this property within 3 days in June 2021. The police served the owner with an anti-social behaviour order, but the council refuses to say if they are taking any action.

The council has shown little interest in implementing the recommendations of Bromley’s own Homes Strategy, which seeks to:

… develop a new strategy to robustly pursue opportunities to bring empty homes back into use. “

There is no strategy for reducing empty properties, and no senior councillor is responsible for this issue.

Bringing an empty home back into use leaves less of a carbon footprint than a new home. A study for Historic Scotland estimated the carbon footprint building new houses is multiple times that of refurbishing an old house.

After 12 years of Conservative Government, local councils are under no duty to publish an empty homes strategy.

Dermot Mckibbin