HC Deb 31 January 1996 vol 270 cc774-5W
Mr. Malcolm Bruce

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what is his estimate of the annual cost to his Ministry and his Ministry's agencies and non-ministerial public bodies of their empty and under-utilised properties for(a) 1979–80, (b) 1989–90, (c) 1991–92, (d) 1993–94, (e) 1994–95, (f) 1995–96 and (g) 1996–97. [11415]

Mr. Boswell

[holding answer 30 January 1996]: Before 1 April 1990, the civil estate was managed by the Property Services Agency.

The annual costs incurred by the Ministry and its agencies in respect of empty properties are as follows:

  • 1991–92: £320,000
  • 1992–93: £944,000
  • 1993–94: £1,803,000
  • 1994–95: £4,471,000
  • 1995–96: £4,258,000
  • 1996–97: £2,744,000

Information on the costs of the Ministry's under-utilised properties and on the costs of empty and under-utilised properties held by non-departmental public bodies could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

A significant proportion of each of the above figures relates to opportunity cost rents which are not a charge on the Exchequer.

The Ministry follows Treasury policy and makes every effort to dispose of vacant properties within three years of their becoming redundant.