Thousands of Surrey homes have been EMPTY for more than six months

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More than 7,000 homes across the county are currently empty, 22 of which remain empty after the winter 2013/14 floods

, CLAIRE MILLER

An aerial shot of the flooding at Chertsey

19 Runnymede homes remain empty after the winter 2013/14 floods

An aerial shot of the flooding at Chertsey

Thousands of homes across Surrey have been unoccupied for months according to new government figures.

Council tax figures show 22 homes remain empty more than 18 months after the horrendous floods over New Year 2013/14.

Some 22 homes, 19 in floot-hit Runnymede borough, were registered as empty in October 2015 due to the flooding that took place between December 2013 and March 2014.

A further three homes, one in Guildford borough, one in Waverley borough and another in Reigate and Banstead borough, were also registered as empty in October last year.

The figures do, however, represent a vast improvement on October 2014 when there were 182 homes registered empty.

The government announced council tax flood relief in April 2014 to alleviate the situation, while Elmbridge Borough Council created its own flood hardship fund.

However, there is currently still more than 7,000 unoccupied homes in Surrey, a staggering 3,213 of which have been empty for more than six months.

Figures issued by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) show the biggest spike to have been in Surrey Heath borough.

The number of homes in the borough empty for more than six months has soared 61% from 89 in 2015 to 143 in October 2015.

Overall, the number of empty homes in the borough has risen 14% between 2014 and 2015 from 349 to 399.

Nationwide, there were almost 450,000 empty homes in October 2015, down 3% from 460,880 in October 2014.

Across England, there were 80 homes listed as still being empty in October 2015 due to the winter 2013/14 floods, down from 714 in October 2014.

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