NUE featured on BBC The Empty Housing Scandal








Episode 2

The Empty Housing Scandal

BBC documentary consists of 5 episodes , currently available on their I-Player to view.

Our colleagues in Folkestone & Hythe District Council and Thanet District Council are featured.

Host Matt Allwright investigates why homes are being left empty and what can the local authorities do to bring them back into use.

NUE funded project in Folkestone features in Episode Two – watch from 35m 40s

Matt meets local developer who has transformed the property into 8 apartments and catches up with one of the new tenants.

NUE Supports accommodation for vulnerable adults

Boxley Road, Maidstone

Accommodation YES has been supplying accommodation for vulnerable adults in Maidstone for the last 30 years. However, this building, which has been converted into 8 self-contained flats, is different from those of other domiciliary support agencies, because 239 Boxley Road has been designed to be energy efficient and environmentally forward thinking. This building is CO2 free by the use of the most effective, up-to-date, sustainable energy technology, utilising solar panels and an air source heat pump.

The use of an air source heat pump will bring each of the residents’ heating costs down to as little as £3 per week, which is substantially below the national average for each person of £25 (according to whilst ensuring NO CO2 emissions in our community.

This project has been funded with the assistance of Kent County Council’s ‘No Use Empty Homes’ scheme, and grant-funding was also received from LoCASE to fund the additional insulation required to effectively run the heat pump.


Westbrook House, Folkestone – 8 new homes available now for rent

Former school building: Westbrook House, Shorncliffe Road, Folkestone returned to use

Thanks to a combination of private funds and loans from NUE (an interest free loan, a top up loan from Folkestone and Hythe district council and an interest bearing loan), a local family owned company acquired the property in 2017 and have transformed the former school building which closed in 2008 and remained empty whilst a number of planning proposals came and went.

The property was a magnet for anti-social behaviour. But now in just under a year this building has been restored to a very high specification offering contemporary living combined with many original features.

A total of 8 apartments are now available each one benefits from gas central heating and has one allocate car parking space.

For example the two bedroom apartment offers a modern fitted kitchen, open plan living, French doors leading to garden, master bedroom with en-suite and a second bedroom with en-suite.

This stunning executive style apartment is conveniently located close to Folkestone West Station and its high speed rail links to London and M20 connections.

The apartments are being marketed for rent and further details can be found on the  Motis Estate  website.

All funds loaned under NUE have already been repaid and the local developer is on the look out for a new project and is keen to work with NUE again ensuring his team are kept busy and able to provide work opportunities.

Watch the NUE Promotional video which includes footage of this project and an interview with the local developer and our wider regeneration work in Folkestone.




NUE – Living by the Seaside

Botanty Road, Broadstairs

No Use Empty has supported the stunning transformation of a former empty bungalow situated in a highly sought-after location.

The property is being exclusively marketed  by Miles & Barr, Canterbury Request Details

You can take a Video Tour of the property!

A four bedroom detached double fronted bungalow on a corner plot which has been extended and refurbished to a very high standard.  The property offers superb accommodation with light and spacious rooms with contemporary styling and an impressive open-plan living space incorporating a luxury modern kitchen with high-quality work surfaces and integrated appliances.

There are four bedrooms, one with an en-suite shower room, a Jack n’ Jill shower room for bedrooms two and three and an amazing family bathroom with the latest fittings including a freestanding bath, walk-in shower cubicle, mirror television and floor to ceiling porcelain tiles.

Externally there is a good sized garden on a corner plot with Indian Sandstone paths and patio and a garage accessed from the rear.

Local developer Scott Widdows of South Eastern Homes has worked with NUE to bring several long term empty derelict properties back into use as much needed quality accommodation.

Botany Bay is is the northernmost of seven bays in Broadstairs. It features chalk cliffs and is a popular tourist location.

NUE apartments on parade

Marine Parade, Folkestone

No Use Empty has supported the stunning redevelopment on a Grade II listed long-term empty building in Folkestone that was once the home to Army Intelligence during the First World War.

You can read more about the history on Page 13 in our Bumper Edition newsletter

The property was also featured in the BBC World War I Programme The Spies Who Loved Folkestone  which includes an interview with the new owner (10 mins 22 secs in).

Phase I of the project is now complete. Six apartments each offering two bedrooms are currently being marketed for sale with PurpleBricks.

Lt Col. Neame (Property Developer) who has successfully worked with NUE on a previous project said: “I’m excited to be working with NUE again on the Marine Parade project. I had no knowledge of the rich British Military history of the site, but its story has added to the importance of bringing it back into use”.

The finish quality of the residences is to a high specification with attractive detail throughout. The building is arranged over five floors with commanding uninterrupted views overlooking the English Channel. The building has been completely re-modelled with new internal staircases to ensure maximum use of the available space for these desirable properties.

Steve Grimshaw, programme manager for NUE at KCC said: “Projects such as these which have been financially supported with loans from both NUE and Shepway District Council ensures that we are taking a very real joined up approach which will complement the planned redevelopment of Folkestone seafront.”



Retrofit: Maison Dieu Road

Up until 2006, Maison Dieu Road, a detached Victorian villa in Dover was a residential care home, since then it has been left empty. The property had been the subject of anti-social behaviour, including vandalism and squatting in the following few years and had much of the internal facilities stolen or damaged.

Dover District Council had tried to work with the freeholder (Company), who failed to engage constructively with the Council. Consequently, the Council raised their concerns with the lender and provided a list of developer who may be interested in purchasing the property.

As a result of this intervention the property was brought to market and bought by a local developer. Kent County Council through the No Use Empty Initiative has provided additional support in the form of a £25,000 interest free loan, towards the cost of the redevelopment including energy efficient measures

Now the property has been renovated and converted into 8 self containing living units designed for a one person dwelling.  The ultimate plan for the apartments is for them to provide affordable housing to homeless youths.

An array of 4 solar photovoltaic panels has been installed on the roof; the cost of procurement and installation is estimated to have a 6 year payback. Evacuated solar heating tubes are used to heat the hot water for the whole property.

Energy Saving Trust – PV Electricity Panels

The basement has been equipped with a biomass boiler (estimated 6/7 year payback on initial outlay). The boiler runs on wood pellets costing £220 per kilo. It burns the pellets at a 96% efficiency rate producing 4.8kwh per kilo so there are almost no emissions released to the environment. The boiler is fully modulating, this means that it doesn’t have to be on all the time. Any residual heat the boiler creates is stored and can be used for heating. The main by-product from the boilers operation is ash; this is collected at the base of the boiler. The small amount that is produced over the course of a year could be used as compost.

Energy Saving Trust – Biomass Boiler

The Centre of Alternative Energy

A neat system has been put in place to load the pellet hopper in the basement. Plastic tubes are mounted on the front of the property which runs to the basement which allows pellets to be transported straight from the delivery truck to storage facility in minutes. The cost of the fuel is half the price of the feed in tariff, which is currently guaranteed for 20 years. This means that this type of energy generation is simultaneously both fuel efficient and lucrative. The redevelopment can benefit the community in a number of ways:

  • There is more affordable accommodation in Dover.
  • The energy and hot water is supplied in an extremely efficient way which minimises the buildings environmental impact.
  • A large, attractive property near the town centre has been renovated which could encourage further redevelopment in the area.