Second home owners and shopping?


Back to St. Ives again and the suggestion that second home ownership should be restricted.

Supporters claim such a move is necessary to make sure locals, especially the young, are not driven away by prohibitive house prices and rents; others claim the town’s economy has long been based on the spending money that visitors bring and anything that threatens the growth of tourism must be resisted.

“It’s a terrible idea,” said Colin Nicholls as he served a steady stream of second home owners shopping for DIY bits and pieces at his hardware store. “This is one of the most popular towns in the world. If people want to invest here, they should be encouraged to. Look how busy we are on a day in November. Go to another seaside town and it’ll be empty.”

Florist and grocer Bill Harvey agreed. “There used to be fishing here, there used to be agriculture. But those industries have gone now. We only really have tourism and we have to make sure we do nothing to damage it.”

What can we say? Is buying up homes for holiday use investment? We think not. Only have tourism – really? Would not actual residents purchase goods for DIY? Probably, more likely to have some spare cash if they did not have to pay exorbitant prices for housing! And do the shop keepers above have no thoughts about the unsustainability of too many second homes? No concern about local needs housing?

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