Under the Derelict Sites Act 1990, local authorities are required to take all reasonable steps, including the exercise of appropriate statutory powers, to ensure that any land within their functional area does not become or continue to be a derelict site. To this end, they have been given substantial powers under the Act in relation to any such sites, including powers to require specified measures to be taken in relation to a derelict site, to impose a levy on derelict sites, or to compulsorily acquire any derelict site. I expect local authorities to use their statutory powers as they consider appropriate.
The National Co-ordination Committee on Unfinished Housing Developments identified the Derelict Sites Act as a potential legal instrument that could be used by local authorities as part of a range of measures to deal with the problems generated by, for example, unfinished housing developments. While I have no plans to amend the Derelict Sites Act at this time, I will keep the need for further legislative reforms to assist local authorities in addressing the issues of dereliction, including unfinished or unoccupied estates, under review. I would also point out that local authorities also have powers under other legislation to deal with derelict sites or structures, for example, under the Sanitary Services Act 1963.