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Havering’s 1,469 council-owned empty garages could ‘create hundreds of homes’

PUBLISHED: 14:27 16 January 2017 | UPDATED: 14:27 16 January 2017

Havering currently has 1,469 council-owned garages which are empty or in disrepair.

Havering currently has 1,469 council-owned garages which are empty or in disrepair.

Archant

More than 600 homes could be created in the borough if garages sitting empty were developed, a study has revealed.

A Freedom of Information request has showed that 72 per cent of the council’s 2,054 owned garages are currently empty or in disrepair.

The data highlights Havering is the second “worst offending” borough in the capital when it comes to vacant garages.

Across London, councils are sitting on more than 22,000 empty garages, with stock equivalent to at least 16,000 homes if converted into the average one-bed flat.

In Havering, the 308,100 sq ft of council-owned garages could equate to 617 one-bedroom flats.

The research which was carried out by property crowdfunding website Property Partner included data from the 24 London boroughs that responded to requests.

Dan Gandesha, chief executive of Property Partner, said: “This is just a snapshot of publicly owned land in London which is clearly surplus to requirement, underused or undeveloped.

“When we have a crisis in affordable housing not just in the capital but in the UK, it begs the question whether councils in Britain should either sell off the land for development or build new homes themselves.

“If a significant number of council garages, which are part of housing estates, are not even rented to those who should have a right to them – local authority tenants – then it could be argued that this is a wasted opportunity.

“Although, making better use of underused council garages is not the absolute solution, it could seriously help alleviate the capital’s affordable housing crisis.”

Havering Council has been approached for a comment.


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