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Derelict Property

Volume 412: debated on Friday 11 April 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what powers are available to (a) local authorities and (b) the police to require landlords to improve derelict (i) commercial and (ii) other property. [108026]

Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides local planning authorities with a discretionary power to serve a notice requiring landowners and occupiers of the land to remedy the condition of land adversely affecting the amenity of the neighbourhood. It is for the local planning authority to decide whether the amenity of their area is being adversely affected by the condition of the land. Local authorities also have powers to undertake clean up works themselves under section 215 and to recover costs from the landowner. The power is enforceable through the magistrates courts.Local authorities have powers under the Housing Act 1985 to require improvement of dwellings that are unfit for human habitation. They may serve a notice requiring repairs to be carried out within a specified period or may carry out repairs to the property and, if necessary, recover the costs from the owner.Police powers are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Bright side (Mr. Blunkett).