Let’s forget about the Budget for a minute, though it is hard knowing the stinging cuts to be administered because people wanted to play politics and look at the motion on holiday homes/second homes.
To refresh yourself, the wording and possible outcomes are HERE.
I will again make it perfectly clear this is not an attack on second homes or holiday lets that some have tried to portray. This is, and only is about trying to bring in some control into an unregulated market; which is having an effect on our communities.
Currently Cornwall as of November 2012, has 8,348 holiday lets and 14,446 second homes, making a total of 22,794 dwelling. This is out of a housing stock of 259,346. These numbers have steadily increased and is roughly a rise of about 20 per cent* over the past decade. This trend is continuing with 21% of dwelling in the South West in the 2nd homes/holiday let category.
In 47 out of 211 Parishes, the number exceeds 20% of housing stock. eight have over 40%, three have over 50% and one has 59% of housing stock currently available.
There are impacts on sustainability backed up by previous reports** have suggested that where second homes comprise more than 20% the sustainability of that community can be significantly harmed. It also Impact on house prices, have Economic, Environmental and Social and cultural impacts.
Cornwall is not alone, other areas and local authorities face similar and in places greater numbers. Some of these are: London, Cumbria, North Norfolk, Scarborough, West Sussex to name but a few. So there is common ground on this, and hopefully local authorities can work together to achieve something.
I am very pleased to say the Motion was supported by all but 5 Councillors present at the meeting. I am also thankful to the supporters of the Motion, Councillors Julian German, Graham Walker, Dick Cole and Andrew Long.
Now, the various department at Cornwall Council will work together in producing a details and evidence based report that shows something needs to be done before it is too late. It would be good if any public would like to add to the debate, both in the benefits and negatives, then please drop me an email.
Let’s hope the Government will listen this time. I also look forward to hearing from the six Cornish MP’s and I will be asking for their support in getting back some sort of control into our communities.
*In the 2006/2007 Survey of English Housing. **The Taylor Review of Rural Economy and Affordable Housing 2008 and Affordable Rural Housing Commission 2006