This is a prototype.

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Unused properties

We’re working with the Cities and Local Growth unit at MHCLG to investigate the best way to collect and publish data on unused properties. This project is part of Our plan for the high street: Budget 2018 brief, which states that “the government will trial a register of empty commercial properties to help prospective retailers to find empty properties and help local stakeholders tackle fragmented ownership on their high street.”

Currently data on unused properties is not easily accessible or useable, with much of the available data being kept behind a paywall. We predict that this causes difficulties for potential users of this data including:

  • impacting local planning authorities’ ability to make good policy decisions
  • limiting community group’s ability to make good use of spaces
  • making it difficult for business owners to find and use appropriate properties

We want to explore other user groups of this data and other points of friction. We also want to explore whether opening up this data and making it easy to find, use and trust will help solve the existing problems, as well as discovering how best to collect and publish the data.

After an initial investigation into these problems, we plan to move into a discovery and gain a good understanding of:

  • the users of unused properties data
  • how to find and collect the data and what to test in alpha
  • current systems and constraints
  • the size and shape of an alpha

If you are interested in this project please get in touch with us.

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