Councillors have approved Council Tax premiums on prolonged vacant properties, set to be implemented from April 1, 2025.

The decision, made at the full Council meeting on March 27, comes after such properties were called "a scourge on communities".

The increased revenue generated through the premiums will help fund the Council's Empty Homes Strategy. Additional income from the premiums on empty and second homes will support finance for the Empty Property Team, presently employed until March 2026.

As of April 1, 2023, the respective regulations have been modified following a consultation by The Council Tax Regulations on Long-Term Empty Dwellings and Dwellings Occupied Periodically in Wales.

Cllr Shayne Cook, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: "We have been working hard as a Council to bring long-term empty homes back into use to provide safe, secure, and affordable homes. Premiums will be an important tool to allow us to tackle the issue with more rigour.

"We must do all we can to prevent properties from becoming long-term problems that impact on the wider community. A tiered approach, rising from 100 per cent for the first year to 300 per cent for those vacant for five years, will strike the right balance and ties into the councils Private Sector Empty Homes Strategy 2023 – 2028."

Councils will now have the power to charge maximum premiums of up to 300 per cent above the standard Council Tax rate. Cllr Shayne Cook indicated that there was proof of positive impact from the efforts of the Empty Properties Team.