Dan Rogerson, Government Minister for Rural Affairs and Parliamentary Candidate for North Cornwall, welcomes Liberal Democrat manifesto plans to give communities a say over the number of second homes in their area.
The Liberal Democrat manifesto published today contains plans to allow councils to charge up to 200% Council Tax on second homes and to attach conditions on new housing developments so that new-build properties would have to be lived in.
These changes would allow Cornwall Council to take action to curb the high rates of second homes in many communities in North Cornwall.
The Lib Dems will test new planning conditions to make sure that local communities benefit from housing supply.
The party are also planning an increase in house-building and innovative new Help to Rent and Rent to Own schemes to help people find somewhere affordable to rent and to buy.
Dan Rogerson has campaigned for years to make changes to the planning and council tax systems to give local people a say over the number of second homes in their area.
“It is right that we invest in building genuinely affordable housing, in the right places, for local people to rent and buy to help ease the crisis of Cornish families who can’t afford to live in their own communities. However, this needs to be matched with action on second homes which is a huge part of the housing crisis in some rural areas in North Cornwall.
“I am pleased that the Liberal Democrats will trial changes to the planning process. I think that requiring those wanting to turn a home into a second home to get planning permission would give rural communities a say, though the planning process, about the number of second homes in their areas.
“It is also right that councils can insist that new housing developments in areas like ours can only be used as permanent homes and not sold as second homes.
“In Coalition Government the Conservatives have consistently blocked Lib Dem plans to make changes to the council tax and planning systems to deal with second homes – I will continue to campaign on these issues if I am re-elected as North Cornwall’s MP and am pleased that the Liberal Democrats are committed to these changes if we form the next government.”