Second homes, more second homes and more!

From It’s Our Cornwall:

Great news for prospective second home buyers and sellers last week. Cornwall Council doesn’t like to talk about this but the 47,500 house minimum target councillors adopted guarantees a good supply of second homes. The number of these rose from 4,000 in 1991 to 14,000 in 2012.

Comment  The reality of building extra houses in Cornwall is that very few go towards meeting local need.   Not only are there the second homes but houses used as holiday lets.   Media reports might like to highlight the plight of families in dire straits – as Pirate FM did last week.

Amie from Penzance tells Pirate FM moving to a bigger place has made a big difference to her family: “Exhausting. None of us are well. Our health has suffered from it. The kids are just, from having a bigger house, you can see the change in them. They weren’t happy in the other house, it was too small; there wasn’t anywhere to move.

The implication being that more house building is desperately needed in Penzance.  The reality however is that many of the houses built between 2001 and 2011 in Penzance disappeared into the holiday homes/lets sector.

Between  2001 and 2011 – 665 dwellings were built.  Was that enough or too few?  You might think each one was eagerly snapped up for use by local residents, but you would be wrong.   An eye-watering 85% of the 665 dwellings ended up without residents – largely second homes or holiday lets.

In 2001 there were 702 dwellings in the town with no permanent residents by 2011 this had grown to 1272!  Thats up by 753 over ten years.

So when there is a news item about housing need, please provide the full set of figures – how many houses have been built in the past and how many of those ended up as holiday homes/lets!


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