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!


  • But how many of the second homes are businesses, ie holiday
    rental, and do these not make a huge contribution to the local
    economy? Are these ‘second homes’ in fact not most likely to be
    owned by local people for income generation? It is sad to see so
    many empty properties at certain times of the year, and infuriating
    when there is so much homelessness, but perhaps

  • Andrew Wallis

    Hello Mrs Angry,

    I hope you are still fighting the good fight in Barnet? In answer to your question, Second Homes are a separate classification to Holiday Lets. So Holiday will not be included in the Second Home figures. Same for Empty Homes and other classifications.

  • Did you know the part of the country with the highest number of second homes is London?

  • Anonymous

    I don’t understand your argument Andrew. You mention that
    you think legislation should be introduced to force property owners
    to seek permission to use their property as either a holiday let or
    a second home. So are you targeting holiday lets or not? I hope
    not. Many many businesses in the village rely on these lets either
    directly or indirectly. I don’t think many
    restaurants/pubs/shops/window cleaners/builders/decorators etc in
    the village will thank you for negativity towards the holiday
    letting industry in the village. Regarding second homes, I would
    agree that a balance needs to be maintained. 8.9% doesn’t seem an
    inappropriate percentage for a coastal village. And even then
    things aren’t so black and black are they? For instance, my
    grandparents live in the village and because of their health never
    leave their house (like a good number in the village) and so
    contribute nothing to the social life of the village. A second home
    owner visiting every fortnight or month probably contributes an
    awful lot more (financially and socially). Hopefully no one would
    suggest limiting the number of elderly residents in the village who
    often contribute very little to the social/economic life of the
    village? Personally, I think it’s dangerous to try to limit
    artificially sections of the community in any village. It strikes
    of negativity and not least at a time when most villagers would say
    that the village is thriving. The main street with a bunch of new
    shops and restaurants is quite a contrast to Helston’s decaying
    main street for instance. I think the town council would be better
    off spending time improving facilities and helping increase the
    building of “affordable” housing / average housing if they are keen
    to increase numbers of full-time residents.

  • Andrew Wallis


    It is not about stopping holiday lets or second homes, but having some sort of regulation to make sure there is a balance. The hospitality industry needs the tourism trade, but it also relies on all year round trade from residents. Last year, I carried out a survey with the help of businesses and holiday lets and on average visitors only ate out once/twice per week. So, it shows the hospitality trade does not solely rely on visitors.

    Furthermore, you need planning permission to change a house to a shop/office. And planning permission via a change of classification to change different types of shops, so why not holiday lets? After all they are businesses too.

  • hello again: yes, still fighting! But re lets: how are these defined? I know from personal experience that many holiday rentals are also used throughout the year as second homes by the owners …

  • Andrew Wallis

    Yes, they could be, but it the primary use on how it is classified. So if an owner was letting it, they could just take a few weeks for themselves.

  • I think your change of use proposal is very sensible. There is a piece in today’s Sunday Times showing a street full of mansions in London with foreign owners has hardly any people paying full council tax despite the owners being some if the richest people in the world. At least the discount is now only 10% it used to be 50%.

  • Pingback: » A Motion submitted to Cornwall Council on Second Homes Cllr Andrew Wallis

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