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Empty Property

Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what reports her Department has received of cases of intentional property demolition to avoid empty property business rates in the latest period for which figures are available; (221222)

(2) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield, of 9 July 2008, Official Report, column 1637W, on non-domestic rates: empty property, if she will list each of the possible incidences reported to her Department, including the location and the nature of the alleged deliberate dilapidation.

As I indicated in my answer to the hon. Member for Welwyn Hatfield (Grant Shapps) on 9 July 2008, Official Report, column 1637W, the Government have asked local authorities to provide information about how reforms to the empty property rate are working. The information provided will be based on the informed judgment of individual local authority officers and is being gathered as a broad indicator of the scale of possible avoidance activity and not a detailed survey. We will set out in an appropriate form our general findings in due course.