Councils should have the power to curb the growth of second homes in Britain\’s most picturesque villages, Gordon Brown was told yesterday.
In future anyone wishing to buy a main residence and use it as a weekend retreat or holiday let should apply for planning permission to change its use.
The controversial plan, disclosed by The Times on Monday, was put forward by Matthew Taylor, the Liberal Democrat MP for Truro & St Austell, in a government-commissioned review of the rural economy.
The confiscation of the value of someone\’s property for communal reasons. And there we were thinking that the Orange Book Liberals were in the ascendant.
His report says: “This issue will not go away, because it raises genuine concerns in those communities most affected. The unique status of the national parks makes the issue particularly important for them, since there is very little option to make up the loss of full-time homes by new building, and the maintenance of their unique environment relies on people living locally doing relatively low-paid agricultural work and other jobs that maintain the landscape.”
That\’s an even more appalling justification than the one that locals can\’t get their foot on the housing ladder. If we, as a society, say that we want these national parks, then we as the society have to pay for them. Rather than screwing property owners out of the value of their property, we should tax all to pay the wages needed. You collectively want that unique environment? Then you collectively have to pay for it.
Not prepared to pay for it? Don\’t want to pay the taxes? That doesn\’t give you the right to shaft others to pay for it instead.
Glynn Bromley and his wife, Jill, live in Troutbeck, near Windermere in the Lake District, where 40 per cent of the housing stock is second homes and holiday lets.
They fear that the value of their home would fall by at least 50 per cent and possibly as much as 80 per cent from such a move and would strip many pensioner homeowners of their savings.
Mr Bromley, 63, who is writing to the Prime Minister to voice his objections, said: “I am stunned by this proposal. We purchased our permanent home here from a second-home owner at open market price. But there may now be retrospective legislation which will prevent us from selling our home in the same open market.”
Why should Mr. Bromley pay for your desires?