Former British Volunteer Pub, Ashford now completed

Former British Volunteer Pub, Ashford


The original pub was converted by the army in the 1860s from two old cottages which stood alongside barracks after several licensees in the town refused to serve troublesome soldiers.

Like so many once vibrant traditional town centre pubs, it closed its doors during the summer of 2015 and remained boarded up.

The building was in fair condition but with a hole in the roof it has been partially exposed to the elements causing additional internal damage.

Galahad Developments Limited obtained planning permission to convert the building to create 6 apartments (4 x 1 bedroom and 2 x 2 bedroom).

Parking is provided for approximately 12 vehicles. The accommodation is arranged across two main floors. The ground floor has access to the front and rear

This is the very first NUE project in Ashford to receive loan funding.

Not only are we extremely pleased with the finished results but our loan has already been repaid (12 months) following the sale of the property to a housing association.

This means that we are able to recycle the money into another project to create even more new homes.



NUE undertaking to deliver More Affordable Homes in Folkestone

Solini Court, Dover Road, Folkestone

A Local Property Developer has added a further 11  Affordable Homes to his property portfolio with Solini Court nearing completion.

NUE launched an affordable homes project in 2012 in response to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) Affordable Homes Programme (2012-15) and delivered 42 units.

With no new HCA funds being available for empty properties KCC made additional funds available post 2015 to continue to assist with making homes available for local people at affordable rents.

With additional financial support from Shepway District Council’s No Use Empty Plus fund – a secured  loan (5 years) to cover the refurbishment costs was provided.

This was on condition that the property was made available at an affordable rent (80% of the market rent) and managed by a registered provider for an agreed 5 year period.

The rent is guaranteed for that period of time and a management fee does apply.

The property was  officially handed to AmicusHorizon to manage during Empty Homes Week .


The property is situated in a mixed residential and commercial locality close to the town centre. The building dates from around 1900 and previous uses include warehousing and more recently as a funeral directors. The site was empty for 2 years and suffering from internal damage caused by a leaking roof and burst pipes. The site was also a favourite location for anti-social behaviour.

Having delivered successful smaller projects with the help of NUE, the local property developer approached NUE to seek financial support if he could acquire the site and obtain planning permission for change of use including the provision of 11 self contained flats.

An agreement in principle was reached and following the successful purchase and approval from the local council a contract was soon in place.

There are now 6 x 1 bedroom units, 3 x 3 bedroom units and 2 x 2 bedroom units.

Wider Regeneration

This project complements the wider regeneration aspirations for Folkestone. It is directly opposite a £7 million project now underway to create a new 1,000 square metre multi-storey skate park, which is being funded by Sir Roger De Haan’s charitable trust, which should be completed by the end of 2017. Access to the skate park will be heavily subsidised so young people from the area have a safe place to play.

For more information click here

NUE Ashford project striding to the finish

Former British Volunteer Pub, Ashford

Our first loan supported project in New Street, Ashford is taking great strides to the finish line.

The former public house situated close to the centre of Ashford had remained boarded up for more than 12 months.

It was in fair condition but with a hole in the roof it has been partially exposed to the elements causing additional internal damage.

New owners Galahad Developments Limited obtained planning permission to convert the building to create 6 apartments (4 x 1 bedroom and 2 x 2 bedroom).

An interest bearing NUE loan was approved with a target project completion date of 9 months.

Parking will be provided for approximately 12 vehicles. The accommodation is arranged across two main floors. The ground floor has access to the front and rear

We will be updating this page with further images in the new year.

NUE – Gravesham Success

Gravesham Borough Council – “Empty property scheme hailed a success”

Edwin Street, Gravesend

A GRAVESHAM property is proving to be another success story of Kent County Council’s No Use Empty (NUE) Scheme.

NUE loaned property owner Mrs Devinder Dhami £25k to get her four-bedroom, privately-owned empty property in Edwin Street refurbished and rented out.

It’s taken just over three months to complete the refurbishment, which has included roof works, damp proofing, a new kitchen and bathroom, new radiators, new boiler, re-rendering, plastering, painting and re-carpeting.

The council had written to the owner to request an update on her plans to return the property to use, as it had been empty for more the six months. Mrs Dhami and her 36-year-old son Andy were keen to take advantage of the interest-free loan which was offered through the NUE scheme to the owners of privately owned dwellings.

Andy who project managed the works said: “It’s been brilliant and without this loan none of this would have been possible. Working with Gravesham council and Kent County Council has been great and the process has been really easy. Both have gone above and beyond to help me get the property to how it is now.”

The plan is to now let the mid-terrace property out and find a tenant.

Back in April Gravesham Borough Council was confirmed as the best performing authority in Kent for the lowest number of empty properties.

There are now currently 680 empty properties in Gravesham (November 2015) with just 193 of these being recorded as long-term empty. This means they have been empty for six months or longer.

The overall figure of 680 represents the lowest number of vacant properties in Kent.

Cabinet Member for Housing, Cllr Anthony Pritchard, said: “We’ve been really proactive and this house in Edwin Street is a great example of what can be done if you take up the option of a loan. The loan scheme is integral to our service offering and forms part of our general discussion with owners who site the lack of finance as a reason why their property remains empty.”


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 Swale – Dressed For Success

Barrow Grove, Sittingbourne

Our latest completed project in the Swale District has already been snapped up.

No Use Empty provided a loan of £25,000 to the new owners of this property in May of this year.

The 3 bedroomed terraced property, built in the 1950’s had been empty for 9 years prior to this and crying out for modernisation.

NUE worked with the new owners, guided them through the process and spoke with the 1st Lender to ensure that the additional funds required could be secured by way of a charge.

With everything in place it was all systems go.

No sooner had we released funds, the owner was back in touch much earlier than we expected to show off their project which we are extremely pleased with.

A full refurbishment including new: ceilings, doors, electrics, heating system, kitchen, bathroom.

The owners are already looking out for another long term empty property to bring to NUE for consideration for support.


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.”



NUE – Increases amount of loan available in Shepway

Shepway District Council

Shepway District Council is a founding member of the award winning No Use Empty scheme, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month. The initiative, managed by Kent County Council, offers interest free loans to the owners of empty homes to help with refurbishment costs.

In recognition of the success of the scheme to date, the work that still has to be done and the significant negative impact that empty homes have on residents, Shepway District Council is increasing the loan available from £25,000 to £40,000 for each home bought back into use.

Cllr Alan Ewart-James, Shepway’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “Empty properties blight our streets. The No Use Empty initiative has been a fantastic success in bringing properties back into use, providing much-needed homes and ridding neighbourhoods of eyesores.alanej

“Shepway District Council has set aside £400,000 in this year’s budget to top-up the loans offered by Kent County Council, giving owners access to up to £40,000 for every home they bring back into use. It’s just part of our targeted programme of direct action to reduce the numbers of empty homes in Shepway.”

Empty homes are often in a poor state of repair, which means that no one wants to live in them. This situation becomes worse as everyday repairs are not done and the property becomes more dilapidated.


NUE steps in with first interest bearing loan

Lorne Road, Dover

No Use Empty has stepped in to help unlock Phase I of a development in Dover.

Without our support it is unlikely the five houses, which are all occupied, would have been completed for a considerable amount of time.

Following the success of Phase I, the owners intended to re-finance in order to commence work on Phase II to create seven new apartments. However this would have demoted the Council’s security to a second charge on the site, compromising its control and potentially being of greater risk if the site was not finished.

NUE/KCC worked with the developers to offer an interest bearing loan to ensure Phase II completes in a shorter timescale. As well as providing much needed quality homes for Dover, the new arrangement in place gives a more robust security for the Council.

The apartments are due to complete during 2017.

You can read more about this project and its energy efficient measures on Page 12 of our Bumper Edition newsletter

The owners of the site said, “No Use Empty threw us a lifeline for this site as the bank loan was only available for 12 months and planning permission took 14 months, The bank crisis came into place and we had a site that we could not develop on.”


Affordable Homes – Dover Road, Folkestone

Dover Road, Folkestone

Built on the late 1800’s this detached four storey building has been brought back into use to provide seven self-contained flats.

Taking up the challenge the new owners have extensively modernised and refurbished the property which lay empty for 25 years.

It is possibly the best example of the worst property we have ever come across!

The property was featured on BBC Homes Under The Hammer

It is now fully occupied and one of several projects which have been completed in response to the Homes and Community Agency (HCA) Affordable Homes Programme 2012-15.

NUE provided an interest free loan over 5 years to bring the empty property back into use on condition that the flats within the property would be let at 80% of their market rental value and managed by AmicusHorizon, who guarantee a rental income for a minimum five year period.

At the end of the term, the owners have to:  continue to rent the property by renewing their current contract, privately rent the property or sell the property.