Scale of second homes in Cornwall revealed
Cornwall is the second homes capital of the country, new figures have revealed.
Statistics published for the first time by the Office of National Statistics showed that 22,997 people listed a second home in the unitary authority area in the 2011 census – more than for any other council area in England and Wales.
Cornwall also recorded the greatest number of holiday homes with 10,169 people saying they stayed there at least 30 days a year.
Mark Kaczmarek, cabinet member for housing and planning at Cornwall Council, said: "It is criminal to have thousands of properties empty for up to 11 months a year."
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And Lib Dem MP for St Ives Andrew George, said: "The housing hotspots in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly are becoming ghost towns and villages in the winter."
In Devon, almost 35,000 people usually living elsewhere listed a second home in the county. Some 7,672 properties were in the South Hams and 7,227 in East Devon.
More than 10,000 second homes were listed as holiday homes across the eight authorities in Devon. Some 130,055 people usually living elsewhere listed a second home in the South West region as a whole.
Claire Wright, Independent East Devon District Councillor, said: "Second home ownership is spiralling out of control.
"This Government wants to build and build more homes, which is completely unsustainable. They are concreting over the landscape."
In total 1.57 million – 2.8% of residents – reported having a second address in another local authority.