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Empty Property: Retail Trade

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 24th November 2011.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether local authorities are empowered to compulsorily purchase individual retail units which have been empty in order to bring them back into use; and under what authority.

Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

If a local authority has a scheme for any land, it may acquire that land by agreement. If that is not possible, authorities have a number of powers to acquire land compulsorily, provided they can demonstrate to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my right hon. Friend Mr Pickles, a compelling case in the public interest. It is for the authority concerned to choose the appropriate power, but the powers under section 226(1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 are frequently used to acquire land in town centre schemes.

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