Sedgemoor District Council will be charging 200% Council tax on Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge homes which have been empty for two years or more, it has been revealed this week.

At a meeting of Sedgemoor’s Full Council on Wednesday 20th February, members voted to adopt the new approach on Council Tax charges for owners of empty homes.

“Sedgemoor District Council will be charging 200% Council tax on homes which have been empty for two years or more, rising to 300% for properties empty for five years or more and finally a Council Tax charge of 400% for properties that have been empty for ten years plus,” council spokeswoman Claire Faun told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

“This move is in line with Government advice to encourage the owners of empty homes to bring the properties back into use.”

“At present, if you own a home which is not lived in and is not furnished, the property may be eligible for a discount where no Council Tax is payable for the first three months. After three months, a 100% charge will become payable.”

Meanwhile, Councillors also voted to adopt formally the Sedgemoor Local Plan, which covers the period until 2032. The Local Plan sets out the Council’s policies for managing development and the use of land across the district.

The Plan aims to translate the Council’s vision for the next twenty years into deliverable policies by seeking to boost the local economy, provide jobs and good quality housing for all, as well as help to provide for future health, education, social and energy needs.

Planning Service Enforcement Plan – Members voted to adopt the Planning Service Enforcement Plan. This Enforcement Plan sets out the Council’s approach to enforcement in line with this national policy. It shows how the Council will monitor the implementation of planning permissions; investigate alleged cases of unauthorised development; and take action where it is appropriate to do so.