Cornwall town to charge second home owners to use public toilets
While Wales is set to allow councils to quadruple second home taxes, a town in Cornwall has established their own extra charge – forcing second home owners to ‘spend a penny’ when using public toilets.
St. Ives plans to start charging the owners of holiday homes – alongside tourists – to use its eight public lavatories. Meanwhile, full-time residents will be allowed to use the public conveniences for free.
Previously everyone visiting St Ives were allowed to use the public toilets for free, at a yearly cost of £135,000.
The council there have already banned the sale of more second homes and plan to implement UK Government legislation to slap a 100% tax on second homes.
New local residents will be given a free access card to the toilets – but second home owners will not.
“Local residents already pay for all these costs through their council tax and we don’t want them to pay twice,” Louise Dwelly, the town clerk, said.
“Many councils across the country are closing their public toilets because of the huge cost.
“But we understand the importance of public toilets to our visitor economy and this is not an option in a seaside town with beaches.”
Figures published by Hamptons estate agents yesterday showed that 4.4% of all houses in the south west of England were sold as holiday homes. However, this was dwarfed by Wales, where the figure was 7.3%.
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