Let’s increase housing availability by reducing the number of houses built!

St Ives might not quite have grasped this supply and demand thing yet:

Residents in St Ives, the idyllic Cornish resort, have declared war on wealthy outsiders by proposing a ban on second homes.

The seaside town has been described as Kensington-on-Sea because so many rich Londoners flock there each summer.

But now residents are planning to block the building of any new holiday lets or second homes claiming they force local people out of the housing market.

The proposed measure is contained in a draft version of the St Ives Neighbourhood Development Plan which could be voted into local planning regulations next year.
Lucy Davis, St Ives neighbourhood plan co-ordinator, said: “There are other places in Cornwall trying for primary residence which have similar problems to us with second homes.

“Around 25 per cent of our housing stock in the parish are second homes – that is unsustainable. There’s nothing we can do in planning we have at the moment, it is kind of unprecedented.

“It will only apply to new builds but what it will do is stop the development bonanza that is happening because suddenly it won’t be so profitable.”


The new builds are aimed at second home owners. Let’s ban any more second home owners. Therefore the new builds won’t happen, will they?

11 thoughts on “Let’s increase housing availability by reducing the number of houses built!”

  1. Mind you, being seriously unfriendly and, well, backward will drive down demand for second homes eventually.

  2. This is just rent-seeking by the locals who want the best locations. There’s no actual shortage. Live in Redruth, 15 miles away. You can get a 3 bed for £135K.

  3. I’d far sooner that folk in St Ives decided such things for themselves than the Department for (ignoring) Communities and (overruling) Local Government.

  4. If there is a demand for cheaper homes for locals who can’t pay London expat prices then there is a potential profit for a smaller builder.
    Yes, builders would make more money selling to the Smoke crowd but there will be losers in that competition –as in all market endeavours. Those losers could sustain themselves by building cheaper homes for the locals. Local planning regulation will be the reason why they aren’t doing so. As this blog has many times pointed out–planning permission is behind so many housing issues.

    Of course once the Londonites have settled in they won’t want any nasty low cost housing bring down the tone of the area anyway.

  5. How exactly is this enforced? If I’m an outsider and I want to buy a house in the town because I’m moving into the town permanently, am I allowed to buy one of these new-builds?

    And once I’ve moved in, am I not allowed to turn around and say “sod this winter weather, I’m going back to the capital until next June”?

    What’s the penalty for failing to occupy the house year-round? A fine, a prison sentence, deportation from Cornwall? What if I want to go on a round-the-world cruise for four months, or if I have to spend four months in hospital – will I still be punished?

    There’s just so much that hasn’t been considered.

  6. I suspect it’s more to do with the local council’s reluctance to build their share of the county’s obligation to deliver new homes. By insisting on 50% ‘affordable’ homes in each new development they are assured that no developer will build anything. Presumably the council’s intransigence will be overturned on appeal. Second homes are a red herring.

  7. How exactly is this enforced?

    If they are able to class second homes as a separate planning use class, then you could be served a planning enforcement notice for using the property other than as a primary residence.

    At that point, you have to comply with the notice (ie move in permanently or cease use of the property entirely) or else you are committing a criminal offence by failing to comply – which can result in a fine of up to £20,000, plus the value of the unauthorised use.

    In extremis, they can seize the property.

  8. Meissen Bison

    The thing about communities:

    I live on the very edge of a large city (my house borders a beach and a links golf course). Victorian/Edward in vintage, I hold photos from the 1870s ( a balloon I believe) showing the raw beauty of the links land before my present estate – sorry, COMMUNITY – was built. Now the green belt starts at about, ooh about my back fence. The community is of one mind: the city does not need to spread any further, it would be a act of environmental terrorism to build there. The expansion all the way to my back fence was necessary and…sympathetically done. Enough is enough though!!!

  9. I think I am a far more cynical man than yo my friend. I do see that local “communities” need to be involved, I. Just don’t believe in those communities as much as you do. I would suggest finding some way of thay premium for planning permission going to the local community. It would get it’s money ONCE IT HAD NEGOTIATED THE PERSONAL. It would get nothing if it didn’t. That way ‘affordable’ housing would be a matter of negotiation as well.

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