Government offers money to ‘mitigate’ against second-homes

Just before Christmas the Government made an announcement that it had created a fund to help those areas will a high number of second-homes. The funding is allocated between local authorities proportionate to the number of holiday homes in the local area and taking account of the affordability of housing to local people.The amount of money available nationally is £60m. From this pot, Cornwall Council will receive £5,117,980.

Whilst I welcome this money, it is not really going to deal with the issue of second-homes. I long campaigned for any second-home or holiday-let to require planning permission before it could change from full-time occupation. In this campaign, I submitted a Motion to Cornwall Council which was fully supported to ask the Government to change the planning rules. Details of that Motion can be found HERE. Yet the Government dismissed the Council’s Motion and letter (blogs on second-homes HERE).

How can the £5m allocated to Cornwall Council be spent? In essence, the fund will enable local community groups deliver affordable housing units of mixed tenure on sites which are likely to be of little interest to mainstream house-builders. Being honest, getting developers to build is not a problem, the problem is what happens to those open market dwellings after they are built.

Furthermore, in the Governments own words, this funding will “contribute to the overall national effort to boost housing supply.”

From the Government’s message, it seems to tackle second-homes is to build more housing. This will not solve the problem. The problem can be mitigated against if there was a change to planning legislation. For instance, you cannot change a business unit into a home without planning permission. The same rule should apply for both second-homes and holiday-lets.

5 comments

  • Gilly Zella Martin

    You are spot on with this blog post Andrew, the fact the govenment refused the original proposed motion by Cornwall Council just proves the much promoted ‘localism’ govenment agenda is worthless.

  • Ruby C R

    Isn’t there 27 county councils in the country, I’m just wondering if Cornwall Council has been allocated its fair share of the pot of money.

  • Christine Grogan

    Second homes and holiday homes make my blood boil ! They buy up all the houses along the coast line then when they’ve all gone they buy up what’s left near the schools etc. Somehow they get planning permission to change cottages into ultra modern out of place eyesores I can see that maybe we need some holiday homes but we should be able to cap them. And I can’t see how the government think this is good idea – let anyone with the money buy up our housing stock and build cheaper out of town houses for locals! Getting angry just thinking about it ! I also have misgivings about the (not so ) affordable homes that they say will be built with the money and how many of them will end up on the open market thereby making them also available for second home owners – end of rant !

  • Maum

    Well at least you tried to get the legislation altered for second homes, you did your best. Let’s just hope the new housing will not be of a higher percentage for the open market than for affordable.

  • Andrew Wallis

    The money is being shared with 151 local authorities

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