The council is set to introduce new measures to tackle empty properties and second homes amid a housing crisis in the district.

Cotswold District Council announced plans for a premium charge on houses left vacant for more than a year, or used as second homes, which will be used to finance affordable housing schemes.

Resulting from a change in legislation, the measures will empower the council to enforce additional council tax on empty homes.


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On Wednesday, March 20, the Full Council unanimously voted for the premium to coax idle homes back onto the market to be permanently lived in.

The additional revenue from the premium is estimated to be over £3 million, of which the council will retain around £240,000 per annum.

The funds will be directly applied to the creation of affordable homes for residents.

Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucestershire Police will be beneficiaries of the additional revenue, receiving up to 90 per cent of the extra income.

The district council is in conversations with these bodies to guarantee the funds are utilised within the Cotswolds.

Councillor Mike Evemy, deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for finance, said: "We are in the grips of a housing crisis, with property rents and mortgages being out of reach for most people who have grown up in the Cotswolds and want to continue living here.

"These changes are all about getting more homes back on the open market for local people and we will use the extra funds we get to create more affordable homes in the district.

"We will also be encouraging the county council and the police, who will also receive more funding, to reinvest it in the area as well."

He added: "We understand the impact this could have on holiday homes which can't be used as permanent housing.

"That is why we are proposing to exclude those homes from this tax, subject to final government guidance."

The additional tax will be applied to empty homes from April 1, while second homes will experience the new rates from April 1 2025 following a one-year notice period.