Councillor: owners should need permission to use house as second home
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Communities, Local Government
A Cornwall councillor is calling for homeowners in the county to be forced to seek permission to use their property as a second home.
Independent Andrew Wallis believes urgent action is needed after it was revealed that over 14,000 of Cornwall's 260,000 houses are used as second homes.
And in some areas, over 40% of properties are designated as second homes.
Cllr Wallis has argued that the high volume of second homes is having a negative effect on the local population.
On his blog he wrote: "I think it is about time some sort of legislation is brought into use. Sadly, it needs Parliament to do this, and so far, they have done little, if anything to bring in legislation to control certain housing types. So instead of waiting, I have decided to act and at least get something started that will bring in some sort of legislation."
He has now submitted a Motion with the support of four other councillors.
The Motion states:
1) This council believes, in principle, that the law should be changed to ensure that those dwellings which are not main residences, commonly known as second homes, are clearly and separately identified as a planning class and that any person wishing to change their main residence to eg a holiday let or second home be required to apply for planning consent.
2) A letter signed on behalf of the council by all the group leaders be sent to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the six Members of Parliament for Cornwall asking that the legislative means of achieving the principle set out in paragraph 1 of this resolution be urgently explored and pursued.
Mr Wallis has said that he has never been against second homes but that "anything over 20 percent [of homes in an area not permanently occupied] can have an impact the community.
"If you have a little bit of control, you can protect communities - schools and the pub are saved."