1. ITV Report

'Ghost street' sparks row over empty ex MoD homes

Some of the homes left empty and boarded up Photo:

An abandoned street that was once part of the Army base at Canterbury is at the centre of a housing dispute between the city council and the Ministry of Defence.

The homes on the former Howe Barracks are owned by the MoD who say the properties are being advertised through letting agents. But the local authority claims that the properties have been left to fall into disrepair, even though there is an urgent need to find accommodations for families in the area.

"This is utterly negligent behaviour by the Ministry of Defence. They have denied many families a home and our view is that they should be ashamed of what's happened.

"To be absolutely clear, we have made the running with the MoD from the moment we were aware these properties could be available, in order to try and secure them for local families. Hundreds of officer hours have gone into this and we even got as far as starting the procurement process in order to secure a contractor to renovate the homes as quickly as possible should a deal have been done.

"Sadly the MoD has shown total disinterest in negotiating with us and no understanding of how important this issue is to us and our residents. Despite our constant chasing, it has been impossible to get them to engage on any serious level."

– Cllr Simon Cook, Leader, Canterbury City Council

The Ministry of Defence said that the properties were no longer under its control.

"Howe Barracks is no longer owned by the MOD. However, we have a number of properties adjacent to the barracks which are not currently required for military personnel. These are available for short term rent to the general public and are being advertised via letting agents."

– MOD Spokesperson