Legislation on Second Homes a Step Closer

Let’s forget about the Budget for a minute, though it is hard knowing the stinging cuts to be administered because people wanted to play politics and look at the motion on holiday homes/second homes.

To refresh yourself, the wording and possible outcomes are HERE.

I will again make it perfectly clear this is not an attack on second homes or holiday lets that some have tried to portray. This is, and only is about trying to bring in some control into an unregulated market; which is having an effect on our communities.

Currently Cornwall as of November 2012, has 8,348 holiday lets and 14,446 second homes, making a total of 22,794 dwelling. This is out of a housing stock of 259,346. These numbers have steadily increased and is roughly a rise of about 20 per cent* over the past decade. This trend is continuing with 21% of dwelling in the South West in the 2nd homes/holiday let category.

In 47 out of 211 Parishes, the number exceeds 20% of housing stock. eight have over 40%, three have over 50% and one has 59% of housing stock currently available.

There are impacts on sustainability backed up by previous reports** have suggested that where second homes comprise more than 20% the sustainability of that community can be significantly harmed. It also Impact on house prices, have Economic, Environmental and Social and cultural impacts.

Cornwall is not alone, other areas and local authorities face similar and in places greater numbers. Some of these are: London, Cumbria, North Norfolk, Scarborough, West Sussex to name but a few. So there is common ground on this, and hopefully local authorities can work together to achieve something.

I am very pleased to say the Motion was supported by all but 5 Councillors present at the meeting. I am also thankful to the supporters of the Motion, Councillors Julian German, Graham Walker, Dick Cole and Andrew Long.

Now, the various department at Cornwall Council will work together in producing a details and evidence based report that shows something needs to be done before it is too late. It would be good if any public would like to add to the debate, both in the benefits and negatives, then please drop me an email.

Let’s hope the Government will listen this time. I also look forward to hearing from the six Cornish MP’s and I will be asking for their support in getting back some sort of control into our communities.

*In the 2006/2007 Survey of English Housing. **The Taylor Review of Rural Economy and Affordable Housing 2008 and Affordable Rural Housing Commission 2006



  • anonymouse

    “Now, the various department at Cornwall Council will work together in producing a details and evidence based report that shows something needs to be done before it is too late”

    Thats sounds a bit like, you will be tried, found guilty and then hung.

    This is a bugbear of yours Andrew, you just need to look back through your blog to see that. So dont try and dress it up as something that it isn’t.

    Most of the houses in PL that are likely to be holiday homes are already converted and the new housing you are pushing will already go someway to offset your stats (lies, damn lies and statistics). Cornwall and Porthleven rely on tourism, toruism needs development and funding and and legislation sends out the wrong message to those with the money to make this happen.

    Legislation isnt always the answer and we already have three times more legislation (just under the last labour government) than we previously had.

  • Sandy Angove

    I do hope that this campaign succeeds! I have a ‘smaller’ objection to holiday homes -with occupancy rates approaching all year round then at least there are people to spend in our shops, bars etc. And we do need tourism. . But the visitors will not contribute to supporting our community life and for that reason some degree of control is needed

  • anonymouse

    soemthing probbaly needs to be done about second homes – but for holiday homes that are available for the majority of the year (I think there is HMRC legislation that says to be classed as a holiday home you have to be available for x many weeks.months) there should be more benefits, not penalties.

    You only need to pop over to Porthleven in the summer and at Christmas to see the effect that holiday makers have on the pubs, restaurants and shops – with all of the added benefit that brings in jobs etc.

    The restaurant trade seems to have picked up already – at leats they seem to be busier than I remember.

  • Having a holiday home available for letting for most of the year is classed as running a business by HMRC. In the past some owners paid council tax, some business rates. The removal of the 50% discount on council tax caused a fair number to switch to business rates as that was the cheaper option. Now that the letting season is longer local areas do benefit from holidaymakers – they are more able and likely to ‘shop local’, I suspect. But for all that, they don’t involve themselves in community life. How can they?

  • anonymouse

    If itr wasnt for holiday makers there would be no community life, there would be no pubs and there would be no restaurants

    someone has to pay our kids wages.

    Go up country and see what percentage of small villages have lost their heart as pubs and shops have closed. Porthleven would die if it were not for holiday makers.

  • Andrew Wallis

    Yes tourism is important, but this proposal does not stop second homes, just regulates. So you will still get the ‘trade’ of 13% and climbing of dwellings in Porthleven in this use. Too many second homes and you’ll find our children have no where to live.

  • And that’s true of many other small communities. But visitors don’t keep the community activities going. If this change in the law does ever happen I suspect it will affect second homes more.

  • anonymouse

    I am not for more second homes or more holiday homes (although andrew does have an axe to grind even if he wont admit it – look thorugh his previous blogs).

    I just object to the mindset that regulation is the answer for everything – it costs us all a lot more than you would think

  • Pingback: » Cornwall’s Second Homes and Holiday Lets by Electoral Division Cllr Andrew Wallis

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