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Enfield uses thermal maps to catch rogue landlords


Aerial survey highlights heat signatures to identify illegally let outbuildings in borough

The London Borough of Enfield has begun use to aerial maps with thermal imagery to identify outbuildings that are being illegally rented out as living spaces.

The council is using data from digital mapping company Bluesky to measure the heat loss values for individual buildings across the borough. Finding those with unexpected heat signatures makes it possible to find those that may be being used for living accommodation or other unpermitted purposes.

It used some of the £360,000 it received from the Department of Communities and Local Government – part of a £5 million fund for councils to tackle rogue landlords – to commission Bluesky to fly over the streets.

Target areas

“The thermal imagery, when overlaid with the photography, allows us to identify and target specific areas in the borough where we know there is potentially a problem with rogue landlords,” said Rob Oles, pollution control and planning enforcement manager at Enfield.

“This provides us with key intelligence that we would not otherwise have, and allows us to target our investigative resources more effectively.”

The move is a step towards preventing rogue landlords from letting out spaces such as garages and outbuildings as living space.

Bluesky said that Enfield also plans to use its data, including laser mapped LiDAR models, to support other initiatives. These can include the identification of unauthorised property developments or change of use, and efforts to support energy efficiency projects.

Image from Bluesky

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