A Motion submitted to Cornwall Council on Second Homes

Previous blogs on the subject of second homes and holiday lets have been on the numbers of each type. For some areas the numbers are quite staggering. I firmly believe it all comes down to a balance between the different types of dwelling in an area. However, it is hard to find that balance when there is not way to control certain types of housing, like second homes.

I think it is about time some sort of legislation is brought into use. Sadly, it needs Parliament to do this, and so far, they have done little, if anything to bring in legislation to control certain housing types. So instead of waiting, I have decided to act and at least get something started that will bring in some sort of legislation.

I have submitted a Motion with the support of two other Independent Councillor, Julian Germans and Graham Walker and two Councillors from MK, Andrew Long and Dick Cole. I hope this Motion will be supported by the majority of Councillors from all political parties on the 26th February.

The Motion is as follows:

“ 1) This Council believes, in principle, that the law should be changed to ensure that those dwellings which are not main residences, commonly known as second homes, are clearly and separately identified as a planning class and that any person wishing to change their main residence to eg a holiday let or second home be required to apply for planning consent.

2) A letter signed on behalf of the Council by all the Group Leaders be sent to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the six Members of Parliament for Cornwall asking that the legislative means of achieving the principle set out in paragraph 1 of this resolution be urgently explored and pursued.”

Furthermore, as part of putting in the Motion, I enlisted the help of a Planning Consultant, Paul Bateman, who through his work talking to others in his line believes there is a need for legislative change. His expertise in what legislation needs to be introduced has been really helpful.

The legislation changes could be:

1) Introduce a Section 55 [3A] to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended, that states “For the avoidance of doubt the change in use of a dwelling in use as a sole or main residence to a dwelling not in use as a sole or main residence involves a material change in use of that dwelling.

2) Provide an amendment to the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987, as amended, to:

  • a) Amend Class C3 to remove the words “whether or not in use a sole or main residence” and replace it with “in use as a sole or main residence”.
  • b) Establish a new classification (“C5”) for dwellings not in use as a sole or main residence.

3) Provide an amendment to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, as amended, to:

  • a) Allow the permitted change from Class C5 to C3, unless planning conditions otherwise restrict the C5 use as a sole or main residence.

4) Introduce a simplified procedure for Certificates of Lawfulness to establish existing C5 uses on an effective date, with a twelve month transitional period for such applications.

Lets hope my fellow Councillors support this motion. It is not about stopping or banning these types of dwelling, but bringing in some controls before it is too late for our communities.

 

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