Rogerson urges action over second homes in North Cornwall

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By Em_Williams | Sunday, January 13, 2013, 12:29

New figures revealing the extent of second home ownership in North Cornwall parishes have prompted Liberal Democrat MP Dan Rogerson to renew calls for local people to be given more powers over the number of second homes in their area.

In Wadebridge 3.9% of all homes are second. In the surrounding area there are 3.5% in Egloshayle, 10.1% in St Mabyn and 11.2% in St Breock.

The figures from Cornwall Council Community Intelligence show that St Minver Lowlands topped the league for the whole county with 42.9% of homes being second homes. St Minver Highlands parish has slightly less at 37.9% while Padstow has a second home rate of 29.3% and St Merryn has 38.4%.

Cornwall Councillors will discuss the problem next week, with some suggesting that people should need to get planning permission if they want to turn a property into a second home.

Commenting on the figures, Dan, who represents North Cornwall, said: "Whilst it is important that we continue to promote our tourist industry, it cannot be right that areas like St Minver have such a high concentration of second homes. Such a high rate stops local people being able to afford to live in their own community, and has a massive impact on local services like schools, shops and bus routes."

He added: "I would welcome the support of councillors for giving local people powers through the planning system to say no to more second homes if they feel that their area has reached saturation point.

"In March 2010 I tried to introduce a new law to give local councils the power to control the number of second homes in their area. I also tried to amend the Planning Act in 2008 to make sure that if somebody wanted to turn a permanent home into a second home they would have to get planning permission first.

Unfortunately on that occasion the Labour Party voted against my proposals whilst the Conservatives sat idly by and didn't vote at all.

"I will continue stand up for the communities that I represent and will be taking these new figures to the Government to argue for greater powers to be given to local people to control the number of second homes in their area."

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