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Cornwall councillors to write to David Cameron for change in planning law on second homes

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 27, 2013

Comments (5)

Councillors in Cornwall have voted to write to David Cameron calling for a change in the law regarding second homes and holiday-lets.

Yesterday, during a full council meeting in Truro, a motion was put forward asking for the Government to change the rules so second home owners and people who own holiday-lets must acquire planning permission.

A copy of the letter sent to the Prime Minister will also be sent to his Deputy Nick Clegg and Eric Pickles Secretary of State for Communities.

Cornwall's six MPs will also be receiving a letter in the post.

Councillor Andrew Wallis, Independent, who proposed the motion said he wanted local councils across the country to join Cornwall Council in their bid.

He said: "This is not an attack on second home owners or holiday-lets.

"We want to bring some control to an unregulated market.

"This is going to be a long, complicated process but we need to start somewhere and I hope the six Cornwall MPs will all support it."

Councillor Loveday Jenkin, Mebyon Kernow, said because second home owners now have to pay full council tax, a proper record of such properties had to be established.

She said it was not always clear which houses were second homes, holiday-lets or empty properties.

Ms Jenkin said: "We need to make sure our housing stock is being properly managed.

"Houses that are empty and not being used as second homes we should make all attempts to bring back into use. "We simply can't tell from the (current) records."

Mark Kaczmarek, portfolio holder for housing and planning, said he fully supported the motion.

He said: "If a business wants to change what it does they have to get planning permission first. It's important we monitor second homes – at the moment we have 28,957 unoccupied houses that are either empty, second homes or holiday-lets."

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  • meh2013  |  February 28 2013, 2:47PM

    @KJHXXX I salute you, very well put. @Gurnards_Head, Assuming you are one and the same as the pub/ hotel/ B&B do you not like having customers? You are going the right way to alienate those with enough money to afford your menu prices, and also reduce tourist numbers. Or maybe you just want to ensure they have nowhere to stay but your place? If you are not the pub, sorry for your affliction...

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  • KJHXXX  |  February 27 2013, 1:09PM

    Here we go again - second home bashing..... What is needed is NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING for Cornwall, with a local occupancy clause - this is done in the South Hams and the Cotswolds and other areas. Problem solved. Most holiday homes are priced too high for locals - which is sad but true. We live in a free market economy. If someone wants to work hard and buy a second house so be it. It is not the governments / councils business what folks spend their money on. I wonder what Cornwall's economy would be like if all the second home owners / holiday makers / tourists disappeared. GET REAL.

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  • H_Trevorrow  |  February 27 2013, 1:04PM

    Red tape bureaucracy and unworkable proposal with not a single advantage to man or beast. Typical impracticality non sense from low grade pseudo socialists trying to impress the gullible .

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  • DipStick  |  February 27 2013, 12:47PM

    """"Ms Jenkin said: "We need to make sure our housing stock is being properly managed. "Houses that are empty and not being used as second homes we should make all attempts to bring back into use. "We simply can't tell from the (current) records." """" Actually, as the particular housing stock isn't actually yours then you have no need or right to know what it is being used for!! I agree with 'second home' owners paying full council tax but as long as they are meeting all legal requirements if being let out then it is no issue of the councils, or anyone else's, whether the house is empty or not at any time. That's the trouble with government/councils - they assume that everything belongs to them and everyone needs to do as they say. They need bringing down a peg or two! DS

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  • Gurnards_Head  |  February 27 2013, 11:19AM

    Whatever happened to Mark Prisk the annointed one inserted by "Call me Dave"" prior to the last election as the "Shadow Minister for Cornwall", the Cornish Boy made good soon got despatched elsewhere once "Gorgeous George" got in. Planning law must in future require that second homes seek change of use permission because they were originally built for locals to occupy full time, it naturally follows that part time occupation is a material change of use.

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