Garden idea for city’s empty garages

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EMPTY garages could be knocked down and sold as garden extensions to try to reduce the number remaining stubbornly empty in Hull.

Two in five of the 2,443 garages owned by Hull Council in the city are vacant – equating to the loss of £720,000 in rent a year.

A new report says: “The high level of vacant garage units needs to be addressed urgently to mitigate any further loss of revenue.”

Councillors will be asked to agree a year-long trial rent freeze, as well as knocking down “unviable” garages – many of which are too small for modern cars – and selling the sites to owner occupiers who want bigger gardens.

Residents have complained that rents – between £7.05 and £8.46 a week – are too much.

The rates are almost double the cost of renting similar garages in the East Riding.

They also say many sites are unlit and are targets for anti-social behaviour.

Officers suggest setting aside £500,000 over the next two years to knock down garages, particularly those in former alleyways between two rows of houses, with gardens backing onto them.

Several options will be discussed at a meeting next Tuesday.