Coodes’ commercial property specialist Jo Morgan urges developers and homeowners to consider the implications of the St Ives second homes referendum for their communities.
“The High Court ruling upholding a ban on new-build second homes in St Ives shows what can be achieved through local pressure. In time, I believe it will also demonstrate the knock-on effect of one town’s decision on other communities further afield. It shows that it is vital for those who wish to have a say in how their community develops in the future need to become actively involved in the planning process at an early stage.
“The movement to ban new second homes in St Ives has become a cause célèbre. While this scenic Cornish fishing town is exceptional in having such a high number of holiday homes, there are many other areas of the UK facing similar pressures on housing for local people. Following the result for St Ives, five other parishes in Cornwall have submitted plans to block new-build second homes and there are rumours that the Lake District is considering similar action.
“What happened in St Ives shows that if you have a group of local people who get together on this issue, they can call for a referendum and promote a Neighbourhood Plan. This is significant because it will then form the blueprint for future development and will catch any subsequent planning applications.
“My message to developers who have land for development, is to examine the implications of a ban on new-build second homes on your plans. Consider the impact on your long-term aspirations. If you are restricted from serving the second-home market, would this lower the market value of your land? If you have aspirations to develop holiday homes, ensure your voice is heard and get involved in the debate now. If you wait until you are ready to submit a planning application, it could be too late. Seek professional legal advice to ensure you understand your options and what you can do to get your voice heard.
“And my message to local people who feel their village, town or city is suffering as a result of a saturation of second homes, is also to be proactive. Everyone needs somewhere to live and the pressure on housing has never been greater. If you think there should be restrictions on further second homes being developed, get advice now on how to go about creating a Neighbourhood Plan to introduce that planning policy.
“Whether you believe more second homes would be good or bad for your local area, the earlier you get involved the better. Don’t sit idly by and risk your hopes and dreams for the future.”
For further advice and assistance on any of these issues, please contact Jo Morgan by emailing email@example.com or calling 0800 328 3282.