Council welcomes government plans to give the go ahead to limit holiday lets

Keys in a door

Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for housing and planning, Olly Monk, has welcomed an announcement that could give the Council more powers to monitor and potentially limit the number of homes being flipped from long term private rentals to holiday lets. 

The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP Secretary of State for Levelling up Housing & Communities has said that local authorities could be given discretionary powers to enable a registration scheme for short term lets in England. The details of how the scheme could be administered will be consulted on next year.  

There is also the potential for places like Cornwall, which has been badly affected by how many properties have been ‘flipped’ from long term rentals to holiday lets, to be able to better control the number of short term lets by requiring change of use to have to go through the planning process. 

Olly Monk says: “We have been working to get the legislative changes we need at Parliament to be able to control the number of holiday lets, with a proposal that planning permission will be needed to switch a home to a holiday let. This news from the government is a welcome step forward. 

Olly adds: “We are committed to tackling the housing crisis. Some of the significant challenges we face are national and others are specific to places like Cornwall where there is an unprecedented imbalance in supply and demand.    

“The lack of decent affordable housing was brought to a head in the aftermath of the pandemic. The boom in house prices and the demand for holiday accommodation has brought about a significant reduction in the availability of homes to rent and a matched sudden escalation in rental costs.    

“Private landlords have been moving away from long-term letting and instead moving towards the short-term holiday market. There is nothing to stop them from doing so and there is no official register which allows us to know when and where this is happening.  Once we have that data, we can use it to potentially limit the switch through the planning process.” 

The potential Devolution Deal, which is now on the table, includes a government pledge to work closely with the Council on any national changes taken forward to tackle the issue of second homes and provide opportunities to work with Government on developing practical and sustainable solutions to manage the impact of tourism on the housing market whilst transforming the visitor economy.  

Story posted 8 December 2022

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