Government gives its response to second home legislation

You may remember in the previous incarnation of Cornwall Council a motion was passed to lobby the Government for a change in planning legislation which would require planning consent if a dwelling wishes to be used as a holiday let, or second home. The aim of this legislation is to bring in some control into Cornwall’s housing issues.

Letters were sent to the six Cornish MP’s, the Minister whose responsibility planning comes under, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister asking them to bring in this new legislation after it has been fully investigated.

To date, only two of Cornwall’s MP replied to the original letter. I am grateful to Dan Rogerson and Stephen Gilbert for their responses, and to Andrew George for his correspondence via email. It is very disappointing that the other three MP’s did not see fit to reply on this very important issue.

I am also grateful to Dan Rogerson for chasing the Minister for a response. The Council received this response on the 9th May via Dan Rogerson’s office. In that letter:

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As you can see, the Minister is not supportive of the change in legislation, and sadly gives no real alternatives to helping address this issue raised by the Council. The only alternative given by the Minister, and one that really worries me, is to build more houses!

Yes, you could build more houses, but without any legislation, many of these new dwellings could be used as second homes and/or holiday lets. Which just adds to the pressure onto Cornwall’s housing. Furthermore, what happens when you run out of land to build on?

It is clear the Governments view on addressing the housing issue in Cornwall is to build more houses.

8 comments

  • Gill Martin

    For any local MP not to have the courtesy to reply indicates to me they do not have the best interests of Cornwall at heart, they are in my view not much good as an MP for Cornwall if they are not prepared to fight for issues that directly affect Cornwall. I will not be voting for MP Andrew George next time, oh I remember now, I didn’t vote for him last time.

  • riscornwall

    Well done for the attempt, Andrew. Would it, I wonder, be within the power of the council to charge Council Tax at more than 100 per cent on second homes?

  • Andrew Wallis

    Without a change of legislation a council cannot charge more than 100%. So it’s over to the Government again!

  • Armorel Carlyon

    It would be difficult to find a better MP than Andrew George. Perhaps those who disagree might care to read the book he co-authored “Cornwall at the Crossroads” which, when published had an impact on the lst Alteration to the Structure plan. No doubt he has also had an input into the CoSerg report to the Core Strategy/Local Plan.

  • Gill Martin

    I personally, from my point of view, think that I could find a better MP than Andrew George, as he is supposed to represent the electoral division that I reside in, and second homes are an issue on many peoples minds here. I would be interested to know why has he not bothered to reply to Councillor Andrew Wallis’s letter. In fact I am tempted now to write and ask him his opinion on the second home issue, having written to him in the past and received replies, gives me all the more reason to think his lack of reply to Councillor Andrew Wallis’s letter is because he does not want to commit himself to the issue, which in my view is not good news for residents in Cornwall.
    MP Andrew George is currently paying back thousands of pounds re profit, second home.
    I personally would prefer to be represented by an MP that appears a little more ‘straightforward’.

  • riscornwall

    This is very off-topic Andrew, but……… John Pollard? ……. Are you sure? ….. Are you really sure? The best man for the job is unquestionably Andrew Wallace, who would, I am sure, enjoy the confidence of most of the voters of Cornwall. Is it too late for this?

  • anonymous

    Personally I’m very pleased that this attempt to artificially limit the numbers of second homes has failed.
    Some damage no doubt has already been caused – as the campaign sends out a jealous, bitter message that visitors and investors in the region are not welcome. This can’t be the right way to go about building a better local economy.

  • Gill Martin

    I find anonymous’s theory rather strange, why would it be assumed that because Councillor Andrew Wallis was trying to get second homes/holiday lets regulated that people are jealous. It certainly does not imply visitors are not welcome in the county at all. I wish there were more visitors/ owners using the property adjacent to where I live as opposed to having a second home/holiday let sitting empty for 99% of the year and consequently contributing very little to the local economy, and with the garden unattended for most of the year, particularly as the property would be in a first time buyers price range should it be marketed.
    Before I am accused of jealousy, I am not jealous of any second home owner, I do however believe some of them need to act more responsibly, I also believe it would have been beneficial to regulate second homes so that some sort of balance could have been acheived within the different locations.

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