Second Homes by Cornwall Council’s Community Networks

As a follow on from my previous post on second homes in parishes and Cornwall Council Electoral Divisions, I have now listed the numbers by Cornwall Council’s Community Networks:

  1. Wadebridge & Padstow: 11,722 dwellings – 2,494 second homes – 21.3%
  2. Hayle & St Ives: 13,561 dwellings – 1,606 second homes – 11.8%
  3. Camelford: 6,192 dwellings – 573 second homes – 9.3%
  4. Bude: 8,553 dwellings – 665 second homes – 7.8%
  5. Liskeard & Looe: 16,681 dwellings – 1,121 second homes – 6.7%
  6. West Penwith: 20,522 dwellings – 1,363 second homes – 6.6%
  7. St Agnes & Perranporth: 8,465 dwellings – 553 second homes – 6.5%
  8. Helston & the Lizard: 15,512 dwellings – 874 second homes – 5.6%
  9. Newquay & St Columb: 14,350 dwellings – 791 second homes – 5.5%
  10. St Blazey, Fowey & Lostwithiel: 8,761 dwellings – 470 second homes – 5.4%
  11. Truro & Roseland: 20,551 dwellings – 937 second homes – 4.6%
  12. Falmouth & Penryn: 19,647 dwellings – 889 second homes – 4.5%
  13. Cornwall Gateway: 15,354 dwellings – 613 second homes – 4.0%
  14. St Austell 14,442 dwellings – 560 second homes – 3.9%
  15. Launceston: 8,981 dwellings – 183 second homes – 2.0%
  16. Caradon: 8,409 dwellings – 146 second homes -1.7%
  17. Bodmin: 8,492 dwellings – 129 second homes – 1.5%
  18. Camborne, Pool & Redruth: 26,906 dwellings – 259 second homes – 1.0%
  19. China Clay: 11,224 dwellings – 101 second homes – 0.9%

No surprises with Wadebridge and Padstow CN having the greater number of second homes. However, it was a close call between Camborne, Redruth and Pool CN and China Clay CN with the least, having 1% and 0.9%.

Second Homes by Cornwall Council Electoral Division

After my previous post on second homes by parish, here is the list of second homes per the Cornwall Council Electoral Divisions, all 123 of them.

Cornwall Council Electoral Division Dwellings Second Homes Percentage
Altarnun              1,866                  55 2.9
Bodmin Central              2,563                  26 1.0
Bodmin East              1,900                  17 0.9
Bodmin West              2,246                  18 0.8
Breage              2,205                127 5.8
Bude North and Stratton              3,230                193 6.0
Bude South              1,413                  77 5.4
Bugle              1,995                  13 0.7
Callington              2,193                  13 0.6
Camborne Central              1,928                  11 0.6
Camborne North              2,004                  19 0.9
Camborne South              1,985                  12 0.6
Camborne West              2,152                  20 0.9
Camelford              1,937                125 6.5
Carn Brea North              2,058                  13 0.6
Carn Brea South              1,993                  16 0.8
Chacewater and Kenwyn              1,661                  28 1.7
Colan and Mawgan              1,878                196 10.4
Constantine              2,459                273 11.1
Falmouth Arwenack              2,041                  69 3.4
Falmouth Boslowick              2,015                  27 1.3
Falmouth Gyllyngvase              2,080                188 9.0
Falmouth Penwerris              2,189                  89 4.1
Falmouth Trescobeas              2,001                   6 0.3
Feock and Kea              2,196                  97 4.4
Flexbury and Poughill              1,995                167 8.4
Fowey              2,489                295 11.9
Gulval and Heamoor              2,096                  31 1.5
Gunnislake              2,191                  51 2.3
Gwinear-Gwithian and St Erth              2,199                131 6.0
Hayle North              2,515                216 8.6
Hayle South              1,803                  23 1.3
Helston Central              2,153                  31 1.4
Helston North              2,274                  11 0.5
Illogan              1,824                  15 0.8
Kelly Bray              1,882                  40 2.1
Ladock, St Clement and St Erme              1,971                  54 2.7
Lanivet              1,783                  68 3.8
Launceston Central              1,625                  17 1.0
Launceston North              1,762                  34 1.9
Launceston South              2,042                  19 0.9
Lelant and Carbis Bay              2,105                266 12.6
Liskeard Central              2,401                  20 0.8
Liskeard North                871                   7 0.8
Liskeard South and Dobwalls              1,943                   9 0.5
Looe East              2,021                200 9.9
Looe West and Lansallos              2,317                328 14.2
Lostwithiel              2,570                336 13.1
Ludgvan              1,952                126 6.5
Mabe              2,118                  35 1.7
Marazion              2,280                168 7.4
Menheniot              1,778                  56 3.1
Mevagissey              2,399                319 13.3
Mount Charles              2,132                  20 0.9
Mount Hawke and Portreath              2,296                154 6.7
Mullion              2,288                212 9.3
Newlyn and Goonhavern              2,227                133 6.0
Newlyn and Mousehole              2,497                290 11.6
Newquay Central              2,518                166 6.6
Newquay Pentire              2,190                175 8.0
Newquay Treloggan              1,815                  23 1.3
Newquay Tretherras              1,741                  60 3.4
Newquay Treviglas              1,936                  70 3.6
Padstow              2,988                978 32.7
Pelynt              2,400                193 8.0
Penryn East and Mylor              2,619                179 6.8
Penryn West              2,125                  23 1.1
Penwithick              1,962                  20 1.0
Penzance Central              2,498                104 4.2
Penzance East              2,156                  38 1.8
Penzance Promenade              2,083                  57 2.7
Perranporth              2,271                174 7.7
Porthleven and Helston South              2,166                155 7.2
Poundstock              1,915                228 11.9
Probus              1,874                  55 2.9
Rame              2,787                497 17.8
Redruth Central              1,955                   8 0.4
Redruth North              1,891                   6 0.3
Redruth South              1,942                  10 0.5
Roche              1,655                  14 0.8
Roseland              2,370                603 25.4
Saltash Burraton              1,621                  18 1.1
Saltash Essa              1,739                   7 0.4
Saltash Pill              1,905                  23 1.2
Saltash St Stephens              2,025                   8 0.4
St Agnes              2,199                150 6.8
St Austell Bay              2,179                123 5.6
St Austell Bethel              2,070                   7 0.3
St Austell Gover              2,092                  13 0.6
St Austell Poltair              1,818                  11 0.6
St Blaise              2,158                  21 1.0
St Buryan              2,480                323 13.0
St Cleer              2,211                  83 3.8
St Columb              2,272                101 4.4
St Day and Lanner              2,053                  18 0.9
St Dennis              1,852                  10 0.5
St Endellion              2,736              1,054 38.5
St Enoder              1,878                  24 1.3
St Germans              1,959                  41 2.1
St Issey              2,225                279 12.5
St Ive              1,913                  35 1.8
St Ives North              2,653                593 22.4
St Ives South              2,286                377 16.5
St Just in Penwith              2,480                226 9.1
St Keverne and Meneage              2,319                285 12.3
St Mewan              1,752                  67 3.8
St Stephen              2,068                  23 1.1
St Teath              2,004                146 7.3
Stithians              2,224                  37 1.7
Stokeclimsland              1,686                  58 3.4
Threemilestone and Gloweth              1,755                   7 0.4
Tintagel              2,251                302 13.4
Torpoint East              1,821                  21 1.2
Torpoint West              1,727                   5 0.3
Troon and Beacon              2,191                  14 0.6
Truro Boscawen              2,206                  25 1.1
Truro Moresk              2,302                  34 1.5
Truro Tregolls              2,449                  23 0.9
Truro Trehaverne              1,945                  13 0.7
Tywardreath              2,097                  40 1.9
Wadebridge East              1,832                108 5.9
Wadebridge West              1,941                  75 3.9
Wendron              2,107                  53 2.5


Cornwall’s Second Homes by Parishes

I have written a few blogs on second homes and their numbers. Previously, I have looked at my home town of Porthleven and to compare with other areas, I also looked at Looe and Padstow. Now I have the most up to date (up to 27/11/2012) details on the numbers of second homes in the towns and parishes in Cornwall. Not all town and parishes are the same size, so I will give the highest number of second home in numbers and percentage.

So the first question which Parish has the highest amount of second homes? Here is the top ten (note, number of dwellings includes all other classification like empty etc):

  1. St. Minver Lowlands: 1,118 dwellings – 507 second homes – 42.9%
  2. St John: 342 dwellings – 140 second homes – 40.9%
  3. St. Merryn: 1,142  dwellings – 438 second homes – 38.4%
  4. St. Minver Highlands: 667 dwellings – 253 second homes – 37.9%
  5. St. Endellion: 789 dwellings – 275 second homes – 34.9%
  6. Maker with Rame: 788 dwellings – 270 second homes – 34.3%
  7. St Just in Roseland: 877 dwellings – 293 second homes – 33.4%
  8. Lanteglos: 739 dwellings – 225 second homes – 30.4%
  9. Padstow: 1,846 dwellings – 540 second homes – 29.3%
  10. Gerrans: 629 dwellings – 178 second homes – 28.3%

(The Parish with the least number of second homes is Botusfleming:  338 dwellings – 1 second homes – 0.3%)

Now in case you are wondering where which parish is, here is the top 5 by Cornwall Council Electoral Divisions:

  1. St Endellion: 2,736 dwellings –  1,054 second homes –  38.5%  – (Councillor – Con)
  2. Padstow: 2,988 dwellings – 978 second homes –  32.7% – (Councillor – Con)
  3. Roseland: 2,370 dwellings –  603 second homes –  25.4% – (Councillor – Independent)
  4. St Ives: North 2,653 dwellings – 593 second homes – 22.4% – (Councillor – Con)
  5. Rame: 2,787 dwellings – 497 second homes – 17.8% – (Councillor – Con)

For Porthleven as a parish and my Cornwall Council Electoral Division of Porthleven and Helston South the numbers are:

Porthleven: 1,693 dwellings – 151 Second homes – 8.9% and for Porthleven and Helston South:  2,166 dwellings – 155 second homes – 7.2%.

For the other Helston CC Divisions: Helston North – 2,515 dwellings –  216 second homes – 8.6% and Helston Central: 1,803 dwellings – 23 second homes – 1.3%.

As for the total number of second homes in Cornwall, there are 14,446. This is out of a housing stock of 260,077. This is 5.5% of all dwellings which are classified as second homes. For those interested the number of those which are classified as empty: 6,247 – 2.4%. I will at a later date, work out the numbers by town.

It would be easy and simplistic just to look at the number of homes and the number of people on the housing register and that would solve Cornwall’s housing problems, like some have suggested. But that would be wrong, as second homes do contribute to the Cornish economy. However, like I have said before, there is a fine line of contributing, or having a negative impact on the local community and economy.

What I believe must happen, is primary legislation being made that to turn a dwelling into a second home, or holiday let, it would require planning permission for a change of use. Like you would need to change a dwelling into a shop or vice-versa. That way they can be monitored, and with the right policy, stop these types of dwellings having a negative impact on local communities.

More numbers to come on towns, Community Networks and CC Electoral Divisions. That is if you are interested!

Not living in Cornwall but with an address in Cornwall

The ONS, has published details from the 2011 Census on the number of people who are not permanently living within a Local Authority (LA), like Cornwall, but either has a second address, or a holiday home. The clever interactive graph can be found HERE.

The figures are broken down into seven categories. I will not cover each category, as you can
have a play with the graph yourself, but they do all make interesting reading. Those I will cover are:

Reside outside of LA, with second address in a LA = 43 per 1,000 usual
residents, which is 15 times more than the England and Wales mean of 28 per 1,000 usual residents

Reside outside of LA, with holiday address in the LA = 19 per 1,000 usual residents, which is 16 times than the England and Wales mean of 3 per 1,000 usual residents

Reside outside of LA, but with a work address in the LA = 4 per 1,000 usual
residents. 1 more than the England and Wales mean of 3 per 1,000 usual residents.

The other categories are: In LA, with second address elsewhere in England and Wales; in LA, but with a holiday address elsewhere in England and Wales; in LA, but with a holiday address outside of the UK and in LA, but with a work address outside of LA. These details can be found at the site.

I have never been against second homes, or as we otherwise call those not in full time occupation because they do contribute to the local economy. However, the point I have is there has to be a balance between real lived in homes, and those not. Sadly the Government does not seem to be interested in primary legislation that would at least require planning permission for a change of use.

In the next few weeks I will be publishing more from the Census and other intelligence from Cornwall Council. From what I have already, it makes very interesting reading.

The End of Second Home Council Tax Discount in Cornwall

Cornwall Council’s Cabinet is set to introduce large-scale changes (if fully approved) to certain areas of Council Tax discount. It is recommended to stop the second home discount, currently set at 10%; change the discount on an empty property, and introduce a premium charge for those dwelling that have been left vacant for long periods.

I am sure the first change of ending the second home discount will be welcomed. It is a bone of contention with permanent residents that this discount is still available.  It used to be up to 50%, but this was changed a few years ago to 10%. Now from 2013, there will be no discount. With the removal of this discount, Cornwall Council will receive an extra £1.6 million in Council Tax revenue. I very much welcome this change, though, I have one small concern. This concern is how does the council keep a simple track on the number of second homes in an area? The discount was a good way of knowing this. With the removal of the discount, it will be a lot harder to track the number of second homes in an area.

Another big change is on the Council Tax discount for an empty dwelling. It is proposed that if the dwelling is undergoing major repair/renovation, the owner will get a Council Tax discount of 50% for the first year only. They will then have to pay the full amount. This is a change from an exemption for one year, and then the full amount. If a house if not undergoing repairs, and is just empty, a discount of 100% will be given for the first month only, thereafter the full council tax will be applied.

With so many long-term empty dwellings in Cornwall, the council is set to introduce a levy, or premium for those dwelling that are left long-term empty. This will be an extra 50% change. So if a dwelling is vacant for over 2 years, the owner will be required to pay 150% of the Council Tax. It is hoped this will encourage owners of these long-term empty dwellings to bring them back into use.

I believe the council is taking the right steps in these proposals and I hope the Cabinet will adopt them this Wednesday. These changes will be in effect from 2013/14 tax year. The full report is HERE. The meeting is webcast from 10am via the Cornwall Council website.

More Empty Homes in Porthleven

A couple of days ago I blogged about the eye opening figures of second homes in Porthleven. There was one category I missed out, and this was empty homes. I know what you are thinking aren’t empty homes the same as second? Well, no is the simple answer. They are classed as ‘chargeable dwellings which are not in use’

There could be various reasons like a divorce, probate issue, or some other legal reason which does not allow someone to live in this house. The house could also be in the process of being renovated. There is also the owners who are not bothered if anyone lives in there.

Unlike second homes who can have a 10% discount on council tax, or a holiday let which is subject to NDR, a empty house will pay full council tax after a period of six months of having it free. I believe the free period take into account the previous points on why it could be empty. After six months it is reasonable to think any issue has been sorted. In theory you could claim it is empty for six months and then turn it into a second home after that. I wonder how often this happens, and the amount of council tax lost.

So the question is how many homes in Porthleven fall into the this category of empty homes? The answer is 27. Two of these are being dealt with as a priority by the Cornwall Council’s empty homes team after I highlighted the long term problem surrounding these buildings. As for the rest, the empty homes team is looking into them.

As I have used Looe and Padstow as comparable places to Porthleven here are their numbers.

  • Looe – 145
  • Padstow – 77
If you add these empty homes to the second homes and holiday let numbers you get the following numbers and percentages of houses not in full occupation:
  • Porthleven – 246 (14.5%)
  • Padstow – 975 (53.2%)
  • Looe – 588 (20.1%)
Cornwall Council is doing something about this by trying to bring back into use these empty houses. Money has also been budgeted to the tune of £1.8 million and the council has just been awarded a further £3.8m from central government to help with this problem.  This fund might sound a lot, and it is a start, but there is still a long way to go if the council wants to solve this issue. I have blogged about this subject before HERE and HERE.
To (mis)use the phrase said by James Lovell:  “Cornwall, we have a problem” pretty well sums up the situation. 

1 in 8 Homes in Porthleven Are Not Lived In

It is not often a few days goes by without hearing Cornwall is full of second homes. It is a hot topic in Porthleven too. But, how much of the rumours are true. How many houses in Porthleven are in full time occupation, part time, or holiday lets?

The total housing stock in Porthleven which are banded for council tax is 1,692. This information was kindly supplied by Cornwall Council (a big thank you). The types and number of second home and holiday lets in Porthleven are:
  • 153 council tax discount (second home)
  • 66 holiday lets
In percentage terms this equates to 9% of houses which are 2nd homes. If you include holiday lets the percent of housing  in Porthleven is 13% that is not in full time occupation. Compare this with other similar towns to Porthleven like Looe (2,923 banded houses) and Padstow (1,831 Banded houses).

  • 121 holiday lets 
  • 322 council tax discount

Percentage of second homes 11% and total not in full time occupation 15% of housing stock

    • 379 holiday lets
    • 519 council tax discount

    Percentage of second homes 23% and total not in full time occupation 49% (!!) of housing stock

    Now, holiday lets do play an important part to a town’s economy with visitor spend and employment. Trades people also get work from lets. So it is not all doom and gloom with holiday lets. They are an important part of a tourist town’s fragile economy. However, better planning rules could be in place to make sure the balance is just right.

    Lets now take 2nd homes. Porthleven has 153 of them that apply for the 10% discount on council tax. It is worth noting that the figure of second homes could be higher if a owner chooses to pay the full council tax. Unlike holiday lets which are run as a business, second homes are not. These are generally used for the benefit of the owners. As when not in use, lay empty for large parts of the year.

    A huge problem with second homes is to the housing stock. With less rental leads to higher prices being demanded. An average rent for a 2/3 bed property is over £600 a month.This is unaffordable to many people. It also has an affect on house prices if a house is in a desirable location, or seen as an investment opportunity. The sale price of the average house in Porthleven is around £180,000; again unaffordable for many due to low wage, bank reluctance to lend, or can’t save up a big enough deposit.

    Imagine if only half of these 153 properties were available for long term affordable rent. It would go a long way to solve the housing problems in Porthleven. It would also mean you would not have to extend the town planning boundaries so much to meet the housing need. This can only be good for a community.

    The Government is planning to allow all local authorities not to apply a discount on council tax. Currently it is law, and a local authority can offer anything between 50% and 10%. Cornwall Council only allows a 10% discount. Now if the discount stopped, how would we know how many houses not in full time occupation? The real danger is the number of second homes would be unmonitored and you would not know how many there are. Therefore, if the discount is stopped there must be some other way of keeping a record on the number of second homes.

    I am not totally against second homes, but (and it is a very big but) you have to have some sort of balance between second homes and full time use. This balance must also be backed up by legislation that is enforceable to limit the number of second homes.  Or else you end up with at least 49% of housing stock like in Padstow not in full time occupation.

    The End to the Second Homes Council Tax Discount?

    The second home discount is for many one of those injustices that if truth be told should not be in existence. Those supporters of it could claim that they don’t use all the council services, so therefore are good value by paying 90% of it. My view is that if you own one house, or ten, then you pay the full Council Tax. I know a lot of so called second homes are in fact run as businesses and are taxed as businesses. 
    At today’s Cornwall Council meeting a motion was put forward to ask the Government to remove this discount. Many may not know, but the Council has to give the discount as it is Government Legislation. I wish it was not, but them’s the apples.  
    There are currently 246,000 second homes registered for a discount in England, of which more than 40 per cent are larger properties in Band D or 
    higher. In Cornwall, for example, there are 14,000 second homes receiving a 10% cut in bills. If this were abolished, it could raise at least £2m a year

    Currently, Councils can reduce council tax for second homeowners by up to 50%, this option offered by one in five local authorities. Four in five offer the minimum discount of 10%.
    During the debate many Councillors said that second homes should be subject to a premium council tax of double or at least half again. It is an interesting argument, but one that is a little too early as we need to remove the 10% discount before we look at anything else.
    The debate ran its course, and a vote was taken. It is hardly going to surprise anyone but the motion was carried with a rather large majority. 
    Interestingly, and before the debate started at least five Councillors made Deceleration of Interests that they were owners of second homes. 
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