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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer
(1) how much the Crown Estate has budgeted for expenditure on empty property business rates in 2008-09;
(2) how many home information packs have been purchased by the Crown Estate to date; what the cost of such purchases has been; in respect of which properties the packs have been purchased; and how many voluntary home condition reports have been purchased to date.
The Crown Estate budgets comprehensively for void costs relating to empty properties. This includes costs such as council tax or business rates, utility bills, insurance, along with other general maintenance costs. Void costs are budgeted on a property by property basis and empty property business rates are not specifically itemised.
The Crown Estate has purchased 42 home information packs to date. The total cost of these purchases is around £15,000.
The purchases relate to properties on the Crown Estate's land in:
Central London; Aldingham, Bingham, Boroughbridge, Derwent, Dunster, Ewerby, Fochabers, Glenlivet, Gopsall, Holmewood, Louth, Oxshott, Patshull, Tabley, Taunton, Whaplode, Wingland.
To date no voluntary home condition reports have been purchased.