No Use Empty completes flagship project in Herne Bay

 £3 million project to return former Bun Penny pub to use as 14 apartments

No Use Empty, Kent County Council’s pioneering initiative to return empty homes to use, has just completed a £3 million project to deliver new homes on the site of the former Bun Penny pub in Herne Bay.

The project is one of the largest ever undertaken by No Use Empty, which has returned over 5,000 homes to use since 2005.

The conversion of the Bun Penny pub has been undertaken in partnership with local developer Mr Onal Tevfik. Having acquired the former pub – which has been abandoned for five years following a fire – he applied for a loan from No Use Empty Loan fund to unlock the redevelopment. No Use Empty provided £175,000 – the maximum amount available through the scheme – which enabled him to embark on the £3 million project to deliver 14 high-specification apartments.

The project has delivered a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments, five of which are already sold.

No Use Empty was launched in 2005 as a means of return Kent’s 9,000 empty homes to use as much needed quality housing. The scheme is delivered by Kent County Council, in partnership with all twelve borough and ward councils, and was the first initiative in the UK to offer interest-free loans to help owners refurbish empty properties and return them to use as units for private sale or private rent. Loans of up to £175,000 are available through the scheme (£25,000 per unit created), which is repayable in five years, and recycled back into the scheme. To date, No Use Empty has administered loans totalling £18.9 million, which has unlocked investment from owners totalling £23.9 million.
Mark Dance, Cabinet Member for Economic Development at Kent County Council, said:
“This project not only returns one of the area’s eyesore buildings to use, it injects new life into Herne Bay. Empty homes are a blight on our towns and communities, and returning them to use not only creates much needed new homes it has a wider regenerative effect, supports the value of nearby properties and encourages further investment.”

Steve Grimshaw, Programme Manager for No Use Empty said; “The former Bun Penny pub had become an eyesore in Herne Bay, attracting vandalism and anti-social behaviour. We are very pleased to see the building back in use as much needed new housing, and the fact that five are sold already underlines there is huge demand for aspirational homes in the area. We would encourage owners of other empty properties in the Herne Bay area to get in touch as we find new ways to rejuvenate the town and attract new people to work, live and visit.”