The Vacant Building Credit was introduced by the government in November 2014, here are some of the key features:
- It provides for a financial credit to developers who bring a vacant building back into any lawful use or demolish a vacant building and replace it with a new building.
- The financial credit comes in the form a reduction to affordable housing obligations – either the amount of affordable housing units to be provided or financial contribution.
- The credit is calculated on the overall increase in floorspace of the proposed development from gross floorspace of any relevant vacant buildings being brought back into use or demolished.
- Applies to vacant buildings but not abandoned buildings – this can sometimes be difficult to determine.
- Intended to incentivise development of brownfield sites but has been criticised as having a negative effect on the affordable housing targets of local authorities.