Cornish MPs have spoken up in the House of Commons to highlight what they claim is the danger of having too many holiday homes to let.
St Ives Tory MP Derek Thomas told the Commons this week: “We need the planning White Paper to deliver the right housing in the right places for the right people, and we cannot get close to delivering on the government’s levelling-up agenda unless we get the housing right.
“This debate is about local involvement in planning, and local priorities are at the heart of this. I know that my local community in west Cornwall and on Scilly would rally behind house building if my constituents knew that local families would be provided with homes they can afford and can call their own.
“I ask the Secretary of State to take a careful look at the situation in Cornwall, where local people find it difficult to get on the housing ladder.
The MP for St Austell and Newquay, Steve Double, backed him by calling on the government to make it necessary for owners to win planning consent before additional homes can be let out.
He asked of the government: “Does [it] share my view that part of the housing crisis in Cornwall is very much driven by second and holiday home ownership? Does he therefore agree that it is time for the Government to look seriously at requiring planning permission for a home that will not be a primary residence?”
There’s been a backlash in recent weeks against both the price of private sector rents in Cornwall, and the apparent growth in holiday homes as ‘the race for space’ has seen more Midlands and south east England buyers.
Over 42,000 people have signed an online petition urging private sector rent caps to help make Cornish property more affordable.