We were alerted to the article in the ‘Telegraph’ about the joys of second homes by ‘Its Our Cornwall’ on facebook.
The article has some interesting comments:
“I have lived in the West Country for 15 years and in my experience the majority of locals appreciate the contribution that second-home owners make to the economy,” says Edward Heaton of Heaton and Partners. “But there is certainly a small but vociferous minority who object to the fact that they are being priced out of the villages in which they grew up and forced to move to bigger towns and cities such as Plymouth.”
Some of the resulting social problems – notably the distortion of the local housing market – were well documented. So why not hit these well-off outsiders where it hurts – in the pocket?
But even in Cornwall, attitudes seem to be softening. From Newquay to Truro, there is a tacit acknowledgement that demonising second-home owners is ridiculous and self-defeating. After all, the biggest concentration of holiday homes in Britain is to be found not in Cornwall, but in London. And they themselves have also done their bit, making more effort to be immersed in their local communities.
One of the greatest concentrations of holiday homes in Cornwall is in the picturesque fishing village of Mousehole. Once a backwater, it is now becoming a cosmopolitan community, so much so that it has been likened to fashionable Padstow, in the north of the county.
Dylan Thomas spent his honeymoon in the Lobster Pot in Mousehole in the Thirties and no doubt drank the village dry. But times have changed. The hotel, where David Bowie once stayed, has been converted into luxury apartments – typifying what some would regard as the malign impact of holiday homes.
“There was certainly a time when Mousehole had suffered because of the surfeit of holiday-home owners, but you wouldn’t say that today,” says David Marshall of Marshall’s estate agents. “What has been gratifying has been the way year-round living has slowly returned to the village.” Phoenix Cottage, on the market for £289,950, is typical of the present crop of Mousehole properties. “The current owners have used it for holiday lets, and it has been renovated with that in mind,” says Marshall.
“Some of these houses let for 40 or more weeks a year, so they can be good investments. But there has been a definite trend towards second homes that are semi-permanent residences.”
Comment An article for second home owners by second home owners and their supporters!
No recognition of the actual loss of houses; no word about the fact that land has to be developed for the displaced people; nothing about the impact on other house prices in Cornwall which mean residents pay far more for housing than they should do! But what would we expect!