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English town votes in 95% landslide to end second home ownership of new properties

14 Jun 2022 3 minute read
Scenic fishing Port and abbey ruins in Whitby, North Yorkshire

An English town has voted by 95% to stop people buying new properties as second homes there.

Of the 2,228 votes cast in the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby there were 2,111 votes in favour and only 157 against.

Residents were asked to answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to the question: ‘Should all new build and additional housing in Whitby Parish be restricted to full time local occupation as a primary residence only and forever (in perpetuity)?’

The town is in an area represented by a Conservative MP. While the result is not legally binding, the parish council is considering a ban on new build properties being sold as second homes.

Conservative councillor Phil Trumper said that the number of second homes being bought meant that local people were struggling to find houses in the area.

“We’re giving planning permission to new developments on the basis that they’re going to provide housing stock for the housing need for local people,” he said.

“But that’s not happening, they’re being taken away. For example, a new development recently built, I think out of the 20 new properties built, 19 of them went to holiday lets.”

‘Failure’

The result comes as Wales looks set to introduce its own far-reaching legislation that will allow councils to curb ownership of second homes.

The Welsh Government confirmed last month that they would carry on with plans for tax hikes on holiday lets that do not rent out their properties for more than half the year.

Following a consultation, from April local authorities will be able to set council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties to 300% from April 2023.

The criteria for self-catering accommodation being liable for business rates instead of council tax will also change at the same time, from 70 to 182 days.

Welsh Conservatives have however opposed the move, with Aberconwy Senedd Member Janet Finch-Saunders accusing the Welsh Government of being “obsessed” with second homes.

“Industry data suggests that Wales needs to build 12,000 homes a year by 2031 but before the pandemic we saw that the Welsh Government could barely manage half of that,” Janet Finch-Saunders said.

“Shockingly in 2018-19, we saw the number of properties completed fall to 30.6% below levels seen prior to devolution.

“This failure to deliver on new homes is compounded by the reality that the Welsh Government refuses to listen to the common-sense policy solutions that I have put forward, including the re-introduction of the Right-to-Buy scheme and amendments to planning policy.

“Instead, the Welsh Government has become obsessed with targeting second homeowners and legitimate holiday let businesses.

“However, it is clear that even in this the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru are failing, once again announcing a new scheme without having thought it through. It is totally shocking that six months into this scheme Gwynedd’s Council Leader remains unsure as to what the Welsh Government are even piloting.”

The Senedd Member’s most recent register of interests shows that she jointly owned seven properties, including a residential/holiday-let property in Menai Bridge with her daughter.


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I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
5 months ago

Well done Yorkshire!

David
David
5 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

Should ALL elected “Welsh” Conservative MP’s, MS’s and councilors be sent a copy of this article?

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
5 months ago
Reply to  David

Yes, because the greasy pole climbers Will do something if it helps the climb.

Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago

Wouldn’t happen in Wales……. the Tory press would call us racist and to our shame we’d dance to their tune.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
5 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Will happen if Labour begin to feel insecure. Keep up the pressure with grey warnings.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
5 months ago

I must have this wrong. Janet says 12,000 homes a year are needed and WAG only builds half of them at present. So when did WAG set up a construction firm and why is the private sector not building in Wales? She then says that WAG needs to build all these 12,000 houses and sell them at a discount thus bankrupting the entire private sector.

Does she actually mean all this or is she as thick as a plank?

Glyn Jones
Glyn Jones
5 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Seriously I am fed up with these second rate and visionless politicians in the Welsh Government saying that more houses need to be built. The natural population of Wales is falling, and there are thousands of empty homes throughout the country. As Matthew Paris says in the Spectator: “Britain does not have a housing shortage. We have a problem with the cost not the availability of homes. This can’t be solved by building more houses, because it is not caused by an insufficiency of houses.” Likewise, the UK Centre for Collaborative Housing Evidence states that the UK Government as over-estimated… Read more »

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
5 months ago
Reply to  Glyn Jones

Compusory purchase then, Glyn?

Last edited 5 months ago by I.Humphrys
thuggee
thuggee
5 months ago

now make it stick. shame welsh labour into acting.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
5 months ago

Why can’t we take similar action with regards to new builds?

Often, they are priced very competitively, well out of the range of most local buyers and a high proportion go to people from outside the community. Many are also bought as second homes.

Llefain
Llefain
5 months ago

Good on them!
And may many more areas follow. Including Cymru. Enough of this nonsense. Homes are for living.
Now just need a way to rehabilitate the currently owned ones into actual residences.

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