Cornwall councillors to write to David Cameron for change in planning law on second homes
Councillors in Cornwall have voted to write to David Cameron calling for a change in the law regarding second homes and holiday-lets.
Yesterday, during a full council meeting in Truro, a motion was put forward asking for the Government to change the rules so second home owners and people who own holiday-lets must acquire planning permission.
A copy of the letter sent to the Prime Minister will also be sent to his Deputy Nick Clegg and Eric Pickles Secretary of State for Communities.
Cornwall's six MPs will also be receiving a letter in the post.
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Councillor Andrew Wallis, Independent, who proposed the motion said he wanted local councils across the country to join Cornwall Council in their bid.
He said: "This is not an attack on second home owners or holiday-lets.
"We want to bring some control to an unregulated market.
"This is going to be a long, complicated process but we need to start somewhere and I hope the six Cornwall MPs will all support it."
Councillor Loveday Jenkin, Mebyon Kernow, said because second home owners now have to pay full council tax, a proper record of such properties had to be established.
She said it was not always clear which houses were second homes, holiday-lets or empty properties.
Ms Jenkin said: "We need to make sure our housing stock is being properly managed.
"Houses that are empty and not being used as second homes we should make all attempts to bring back into use. "We simply can't tell from the (current) records."
Mark Kaczmarek, portfolio holder for housing and planning, said he fully supported the motion.
He said: "If a business wants to change what it does they have to get planning permission first. It's important we monitor second homes – at the moment we have 28,957 unoccupied houses that are either empty, second homes or holiday-lets."