East Devon also has a major problem with second homes that are empty most of the year. Around 3000 houses fall into this category, with negative implications for affected communities – including shops and pubs closing and a dying sense of community. The conservatives answer to the problem?  Just build more houses!

The motion (an excellent initiative) was supported by the full council.  The story is here and below – http://www.planningresource.co.uk/news/1173022/cornwall-calls-planning-action-second-homes/ ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

A motion calling on the government to change planning rules so that homeowners have to apply for planning consent to change their properties from being a main residence to a holiday let has been passed by Cornwall Council.

The motion, tabled by independent councillor Andrew Wallis, said that the 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”.

A letter signed on behalf of the council by all the group leaders will now 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 of the resolution “be urgently explored and pursued”.

Wallis said the council will also begin work on a policy document to investigate the likely impacts of the proposal.

He said the proposal was not “anti second homes” but was about bringing back “control” into the market. Cornwall Council statistics show that in some parishes the number of holiday lets and second homes account for more than 50 per cent of housing stock.