Would Helensburgh’s Jutland Court qualify for Government’s Empty Homes Loans Fund?

The suitably navally named Jutland Court, a complex of blocks of flats built for defence personnel at Faslane, was bought from the MoD by Osborne Interiors some time ago.

Left neglected and no in serious disrepair, we wonder if it might qualify for the Scottish Government’s  Empty Homes Loans Fund, especially with Osborne Interior’s known interest in proving affordable homes in the Helensburgh area.

The Scottish Government has this morning [27th December 2012] announced a major tranche of funding from this scheme to recover empty homes across Scotland.

The fund exists to help private owners renovate empty homes in exchange for them being made available as affordable housing for at least five years.

There are around 25,000 empty homes across Scotland that are classed as long-term empty located in urban, rural and island communities.

Infrastructure Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, announcing the loans, says: ‘Empty homes are a blight on many communities across Scotland. Standing empty these properties are no use to anyone. Renovated, they could provide much needed new homes for hundreds of people. Bringing empty homes back into use makes sense because it is a cost-effective way of increasing the supply of housing available to families across Scotland’s communities.’

COSLA’s Councillor Harry McGuigan says: ‘The fund is a welcome contribution to Scotland’s overall housing stock, and will greatly assist local government’s empty home officers on making real progress locally in relieving housing pressure. Encouraging owners to bring housing stock back to the affordable rental market will make a valuable contribution in tackling homelessness, directly and indirectly, and remove what can be neighbourhood blight.’

The loans disbursed to date are detailed in a table here online. They show no awards – and possibly no applications from Argyll and Bute; but amounts totalling £4.5 million made to 15 local authorities in 17 applications submitted by housing associations, councils and house builders for a total of 438 housing units.

Jutland Court would seem to fit the eligibility criteria for this scheme.

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6 Responses to Would Helensburgh’s Jutland Court qualify for Government’s Empty Homes Loans Fund?

  1. Jutland court should be taken off Osbournes, give them their original money back and send them packing. They should have sorted those flats out a long time ago but either because they could not afford to or the hope of bigger profits in the future these properties have been severely neglected…not what you want from property developers

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  2. The problems of Jutland Court are intimately bound to the witless chicanery perpetrated by Osborne Interiors; if they hadn’t spent the last 5 years alienating every inhabitant of west Helensburgh trying to build houses where nobody wants them, chopping down trees without permission, leaving areas of woodland as a blasted moonscape and generally rubbing everyone up the wrong way, there might be some goodwill toward this kind of solution. As it is, I would rather Jutland Court be bulldozed just to scunner those responsible(the building is ugly and not great quality, although possibly still worth saving); their greed has brought us here, and for them to receive a handout from the government would leave a bad taste in the mouth. If they cannot afford to redevelop the land and buildings, why should the normal commercial solution not prevail and the property sold to a developer who can afford it?

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  3. Hoarding of land and property which not being put to good use should attract punitive levies. It would discourage property price inflation, prevent manipulation of the Market and rid our townscapes of carbuncles

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  4. Graeme – I couldn’t agree more. However,it is not just the hoarding of development land which should attract punitive levies. There are also many other, more rural landowners, with huge estates,who manage their land in such a way that gets them generous subsidies or avoids tax but destroys employment and local communities. Perhaps they too should be subject to punitive land taxes.

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    • Bob – can you give examples of the destruction of employment and communities by specific land use strategy by estates? This sounds worth investigating.

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