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Campaigners threaten to blockade all routes into Cornwall as second homes protest

08 Aug 2021 2 minutes Read
Photograph of the Saint Piran’s flag, the flag of Cornwall. Picture by Proper Handsome (CC BY-SA 3.0).

A Cornish campaign group is threatening to take direct action unless a second homes crisis is tackled.

Kernow Matters say they are prepared to blockade the main routes into Cornwall if the housing problems they have raised are not addressed.

The issues mirror those in Welsh communities with second-home ownership seen as causing rising house prices, displacing young people and changing the character of an area.

A spokesperson for Kernow Matters said: “We deserve affordable housing and rental properties. Cornwall is not a playground, it is not just a tourist-hot-spot and nice place to live by the beach if you have the cash for it – it’s our home, it’s our culture, our family, friends, livelihoods – and we can’t even afford to live here.

“No more second homes. No more exorbitant rents. No more holiday lets over council homes. Enough is enough.”

Blockades

The group, formed in 2015 to ‘celebrate Cornish culture, history, language and music’, say they are discussing the possibility of blocking the A30 and Tamar Bridge routes into the county.

They have issued a set of demands that includes setting up a community-led House Crisis Action Plan, the closing of tax loopholes and funding to build affordable homes for local families.

Protests against second home ownership took place in Wales last month with hundreds attending a rally at the Tryweryn dam to call on the Welsh Government to tackle the housing crisis.

An action plan outlined by the Welsh Government has been criticised by Plaid Cymru as being ‘weak’ and an attempt at ‘kicking the problem into the long grass’.

The current plans include a statutory registration scheme for holiday accommodation and greater support to address the affordability and availability of housing.

The Welsh Government say they will be choosing a pilot area to test the scheme with a further Welsh Language Community Housing Plan set to be published in the autumn.

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Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Hopefully Cornwall will demonstrate to the Welsh Government that Westminster only understands direct action. Johnson’s gang laugh at “co-operation” and have nothing but contempt for those advocating “unity”.

frennifawr
frennifawr
1 month ago
Reply to  Quornby

Agree re: Westminster but the same applies to Labour in the Senedd. They are making no real effort to get to grips with the crisis in both rural and urban areas. You also have the added pressure in Wales in many rural areas where the language is under threat because of of lack of housing, in migration of mainly retired English immigrants and too many holiday homes. Labour need to get a grip, though the reality is that only direct active action will help stem the tide.

Cath
Cath
1 month ago

I’m down for this. We need to do this in Cymru, to defend our children’s future and our Senedd.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

The Cornish “border” is like a sieve. O.K the 2 main routes are probably the only ones that thickos from the big cities feel are safe but a more enterprising type, best not towing a jumbo caravan, can use a multitude of routes. I used to go to Devon & Cornwall for 7-10 days for years and got into the habit of “stirring it” a bit where there was obvious exploitation and hardship. I was always surprised by how most people, young or old, were quite accepting of the situation as though it was their fate to exist in that… Read more »

Mawkernewek
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

perhaps better to do some kind of rolling roadblock, akin to a Critical Mass ride, which is quite doable without actually breaking any laws

j humphrys
j humphrys
1 month ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

Slow traffic on smaller roads to major clusters of Lets/2nds.
Will drive city people nuts.

Cymro newydd
Cymro newydd
1 month ago
Reply to  j humphrys

Syniad da. Brilliant suggestion. Let’s hope it catches on, particularly along roads such as those leading to Abersoch. Particularly on a Friday afternoon. I can imagine those red faced Audi and Range Rover drivers now. Not a bad idea to drive slowly anyway.

Cymro newydd
Cymro newydd
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymro newydd

Even driving at slightly below the legal limit would have the same effect on some of these drivers.

Dim problem
Dim problem
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

I used to go to Devon & Cornwall for 7-10 days for years 

Good of you to admit you’re part of the problem.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Dim problem

Nice places to visit, without the persistent littering that seems to blight our own country. Although I mentioned Fowey, places like that became places to avoid because of the Londoner/S.E wave that crashed through the place. However there were plenty of other places that were extremely pleasant. Better to spend the Davis £ there than at noisy Med destinations where a different type of Anglo infestation was often the problem. I take it you don’t go anywhere for a break just in case you cause a “problem”.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
1 month ago

I think this sort of action would attract great support in Wales

r j tweed
r j tweed
1 month ago

The problem could be a lot of our County Councillors have holiday let’s and make a lot of money from them!

Lowri Llewelyn
Lowri Llewelyn
1 month ago
Reply to  r j tweed

I had no idea about this. Can you name names?

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago

This kind of non-violent resistance is admirable – Cymdeithas used to do this sort of thing a lot. Despite how unpleasant many find such actions (myself included), one cannot deny the effect – it does move the needle, when done right. My only fear in Cymru would be the paucity of intellectual firepower behind such an action. Our main organisations (those that seek our freedom) suffer from the sorts of in-fighting, and inability to reach bedrock on a range of subjects, that would leave the guys and gals who’d block our roads high and dry, in the hands of the… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by CJPh
Scott Husband
1 month ago

Tensions rising up here in the East Neuk of Fife, and I believe further beyond. 2nd homes have driven house prices up 30-40% in a year here. Ready to man the barricades. Legislation required to protect areas, not from incomers wanting to live and work locally but from holiday homes and airb+b.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
1 month ago

Housing Developments in less affluent areas are often too expensive for local people to buy. So, they’re bought up as second homes or homes/businesses by London/S.E. England. Put your brain in gear before you excuse second homes! I’m guessing Collective responsibility isn’t part of your culture 🙄😒

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago

That could turn out to be an effective form of resistance, and there woud be a lot of support for Cymru adopting the same methods, unless the British media decide not to report the events in Cornwall and no-one gets to hear about it. There’s no reason to suppose that it wouldn’t also be popular in Brittany, where overtourism and holiday homes have now become an electoral issue. Best of luck to the Cornish over this. It shouldn’t even be necessary in Wales, where the Drakeford Government promised an effective response to the housing crisis in the Bro Gymraeg, but… Read more »

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