NEW data from Somerset Council shows there has been a reduction in the number of empty homes in Bridgwater and surrounding villages.

A report by the Mercury last week looked at data from the 2021 census, and revealed approximately 1,750 homes in the area were unoccupied at the time.

However, that number has since decreased to 1,125, according to Somerset Council, a reduction of 625.

1,008 of these properties have been empty for up to 24 months, and the remaining 117 have been without an occupant for over two years.

'Uninhabitable' properties are included in the total, as the council no longer holds data on which properties fall under this category.

Not included in the total are empty dwellings as a result of the occupant being deceased, or residing in a nursing home.

The council revealed 332 homes in Bridgwater and surrounding areas are currently empty as the occupant has passed away. A further 97 are unoccupied due to the occupant now being in a nursing home.

A spokesperson for Somerset Council affirmed that it is working to reduce the number of empty properties in the area.

"The council is proactively taking details of empty properties and contacting owners to see if we can help with bringing them back into use," the spokesperson said.