The Levelling up and Regeneration Bill is expected to receive Royal Assent in April 2023. The Bill provides powers for councils to double the Council Tax payable on 2nd homes. The District Council had been consulting the community and owners of 2nd homes on the proposal. This report seeks to undertake work to amend the policy concerning long term empty homes to reflect a handful of cases causing difficulty to owners of empty homes currently improving their property.
18:40 – Councillor David Hughes entered the meeting during discussion of this Item.
The Chief Executive introduced a report which sought Member approval to adopt a 100% premium for council tax relating to 2nd homes with effect from 1st April 2024.
The report detailed how the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill would be expected to receive Royal Assent in 2023 and this Bill would provide powers councils to double the Council Tax payable on 2nd homes. Nationally, rural councils had been campaigning for this power for many years, reflecting the impact of 2nd homes in national parks, other rural areas and coastal authorities. The report also informed Members of the work being done by the Welsh devolved government to implement a higher premium of up to 300%.
The report detailed the progress of the ongoing consultation process and the results of the consultation up to the date of the publication of the report. The report also sought Member approval to undertake work to amend the policy concerning long term empty homes to reflect a handful of cases causing difficulty to owners of empty homes currently improving their property.
The recommendations as set out in the report were moved by Councillor Susan Hobson and seconded by Councillor Steve Flitter.
During debate, an amendment to include the following additional recommendation was moved by Councillor Peter O’Brien and seconded by Councillor Sue Burfoot:
“That in principle, the income generated through the council tax premium be ring fenced for the provision and development of affordable housing and that further consideration is given, by this Council, as to how and where it is utilised.”
The amendment was then put to the vote as follows:
The Chairman declared the amendment LOST.
The substantive motion was then put to the vote and it was
1. That, subject to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill becoming an Act of Parliament and the consideration of any additional representations received up to the close of consultation on 22nd March at a future Council meeting, the adoption of a 100% premium for Council Tax relating to second homes with effect from 1st April 2024, be approved.
2. That, subject to the adoption of the policy position in recommendation 1 above, authority be delegated to the Director of Housing and the Director of Resources to implement the adoption of a 100% premium for Council Tax relating to second homes with effect from 1st April 2024.
3. That further work takes place to consider the introduction of discretionary discounts to the 100% second homes premium, with a report to follow in July 2023.
4. That, subject to the adoption of the second homes premium policy position, negotiations take place with Derbyshire County Council concerning the use of the additional income generated.
5. That further work continues to develop discretionary discounts concerning empty homes where owners are undertaking works to bring properties back in to use.
The Chairman declared the motion CARRIED.