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. 

One comment

  • Anonymous

    The issue comes in insuring, at least SOME of these properties, are available to the families and local workers that need them. Unfortunately the profits that can be made from second homes and holiday lets in the area is far to great a draw, and with the purchasing power of the larger holiday let companies in the area – the levels of available housing within the village will only decrease, thus increasing housing prices. The big question is; How do we protect the future of the village by having housing available for local workers and families, whilst still having enough revenue for local businesses generated from holiday let properties and the tourists that stay in them? This is the issue we need to find a solution for in the entire of Cornwall before the balance of numbers of second home, tourist lets and empty properties outweighs that of actual working people who meaningfully contribute to keeping our fine county running all year round.

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