Why young people find it hard to get a home in rural Cornwall

The CLBA in their report refer to the problems faced by young people in rural areas and the decline in local services.

Both are issues of concern but they are not a result of a lack of house building!

Young people find rural housing expensive because of competition from second home, holiday home and wealthy incomers.

It’s a case of rebalancing the housing market, including the provision of social housing that is the answer not more houses!


Landowners use fake evidence to push for unsustainable housing!

The Country Landowners and Business Association has come up with ‘research’ asserting that there are 213 villages in Cornwall at risk of being ‘frozen in time’ due to a lack of housebuilding.

Anyone who lives in Cornwall can see the inordinate levels of housebuilding and the data shows that Cornwall has more houses built pro rata than anywhere else.

This looks like a shoddy piece of ‘research’ based on who knows what?

What are being classed as villages anyway?

And is this not a paper designed to allow more landowners to sell land for development?

And where was the critical analysis of this ‘research’ in the media? Nowhere to be seen!

More than 2,000 English villages risk being “frozen in time” because town halls have ruled they are unsustainable and not suitable for new homes, rural landowners have warned.

Cornwall, Wiltshire and central Lincolnshire are the areas with the most villages that, according to local planning strategies, cannot easily be expanded with new homes because they lack access to services such as post offices and primary schools.

Critics say that the system of branding villages unsustainable is being driven by nimby opposition to development. They add that it is causing a shortage of affordable rural housing and that younger people being forced to move to towns and cities. This means some villages will be inhabited by ageing populations, which potentially stores up problems for social care in the future.


France – protests against fuel tax – very short sighted!

The French Government has increased fuel prices. A majority of those polled in France want fuel tax increases to be reversed.
That means that 70% have either not heard of climate degradation/change of if they have are not prepared to make any changes to their lifestyle!

Why are drivers on the warpath?
The price of diesel, the most commonly used fuel in French cars, has risen by around 23% over the past 12 months to an average of €1.51 (£1.32; $1.71) per litre, its highest point since the early 2000s, AFP news agency reports. World oil prices did rise before falling back again but the Macron government raised its hydrocarbon tax this year by 7.6 cents per litre on diesel and 3.9 cents on petrol, as part of a campaign for cleaner cars and fuel.

The decision to impose a further increase of 6.5 cents on diesel and 2.9 cents on petrol on 1 January 2019 was seen as the final straw.
Speaking on Wednesday, the president blamed world oil prices for three-quarters of the price rise. He also said more tax on fossil fuels was needed to fund renewable energy investments.

How big is the movement?
It has broad support. Nearly three-quarters of respondents to a poll by the Elabe institute backed the Yellow Vests and 70% wanted the government to reverse the fuel tax hikes.


Homeless families – who is to blame?

The story of a homeless family who have found it very difficult to be rehoused raises a number of issues:

Why was the family evicted? It would be interesting to know how many people are evicted each year and the reasons for eviction as this would assist in understanding the problem. Landlords might evict for a number of reasons including rent issues or simply converting the properties use.

Lots of houses are being built in Cornwall, there is not a shortage. But building houses which can only be bought by people with the resources to buy does not help the homeless.

The CEO of Shelter makes a good point – the emphasis should be on building more social housing. Of the 160,000 – 170,000 houses which are needed each year a higher proportion must be social housing.

A family of six has been moved by their local authority 13 times since becoming homeless four months ago. Dean and Amy Coombes were evicted from their house in St Austell, Cornwall, on 29 June, along with their four children aged under eight. Mr and Mrs Coombes were evicted after being given eight weeks’ notice by their landlord, who wanted his property back.

Holly Neate, CEO at housing charity Shelter, said: “Hit by budget cuts and a lack of affordable homes, overstretched councils are struggling to keep homeless families within local communities. “To put an end to this, the government needs to ramp up efforts to build more social housing to give families the chance of a decent and permanent home.” 


More houses in Cubert – for locals – are you serious?

Do we need more houses in Cubert? Thats the question raised in the Bernard Deacon twitter and Pirate FM report below.

In 2011 there were 629 properties of which 12% did not have permanent residents – so plenty of spare capacity there!

There are also a number of houses advertised for letting.

Developers want to build homes in Cubert, knowing full well they can be sold to people from outside Cornwall either to live, to use as holiday homes/lets or for investment.

They are not needed in Cubert or elsewhere in Cornwall.

After descending like vultures on Crantock near Newquay, developers are now homing in on nearby Cubert. 60 more houses for this small village, using the genuine need for affordable houses to build unaffordable ones. Sensitive, sustainable development??

People opposing plans to build 60 new homes in their village have accused developers of “raping” Cornwall for profits. Kingsley Homes Limited has submitted an outline planning application to build the development on land off Wesley Road in Cubert, near Newquay. However the development has attracted such strong opposition that posters and banners have appeared around the village urging people to lodge objections.

More than 101 comments have already been posted on Cornwall Council’s website, with 92 in opposition – including Rebecca Terry Berry:

“So much countryside in the past few years has been raped by the property developers bleating on about a housing need where really it’s a developers’ greed.

“A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet but smaller than a town, with a population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand.

“At no point did anyone in the village of Cubert expect to suddenly be living in a town, which, at this rate, that is what we will become.

“As a community we are on a daily fight to keep playgrounds and open space for children open and available.

“We are all very lucky to be living in a village and able to bring our children up with freedom and space, walking to school, safety, less crime, less traffic, countyside.

“Who is going to fight for us unless we try ourselves to keep our village a village for our childrens’ sake and we are also the voice for the environment?”

Local, Rebecca Terry Berry


Stamp Duty Land Tax – what does it tell us?

Data is available from HMRC setting out the number of properties paying Stamp Duty Land Tax. The figures are for SDLT transactions at £40,000 or above, with the estimated property value and net receipts by property type for the financial year 2017-18.

What are the figures for Cornwall?
In 2017-18 there were 12,960 transactions with an estimated property value of £3,258 million.

There were 3,510 dwellings, or 27% of the total subject to Higher Rates on Additional Dwellings (HRAD). These are dwellings bought by people who already own a property. The figures do not differentiate between properties bought as holiday homes/lets, buy-to-let or by people in the process of moving house who intend to sell the first property at a later date.

There were 640 properties claiming first time buyers’ relief. The total relief was £1 million.

Although interesting, the figures do not illuminate the situation regarding the purchase of second homes or holiday lets or where the purchasers come from!

Changes in Stamp Duty Land Tax
Over the past few years, there have been a number of major tax policy reforms affecting SDLT receipts. The structure of residential SDLT was subject to major reform in December 2014 therefore the figure for 2014-15 includes tax collected under both the new and old systems. Prior to 4 December 2014 varying flat rates of SDLT were charged on the total consideration (price). Since then, SDLT for residential property is charged at different rates depending on the portion of the purchase price that falls within each rate band. The reforms mean that less SDLT was paid on the majority of residential transactions, with only those at higher prices paying more. A similar change was introduced for non-residential transactions in April 2016. The increase in receipts in 2016-17 is associated with the introduction of the higher rates of SDLT charged on additional residential properties. This reform added 3 percentage points to the SDLT rate for purchasers who already own residential property. A new first time buyers’ relief was introduced in November 2017, which means that FTBs buying properties valued less than £300,000 pay no SDLT and those buying properties valued between £300,000 and £500,000 pay £5,000 less than standard rates.

The great paradox – more houses but those in need are worse off!

The paradox of the current obsession with building more houses is that the very people it is allegedly designed to help – those in need of a home or a more affordable home are not helped.

Not surprising really. Just building more houses is akin to opening more restaurants on the ground they would reduce the need for food banks.

It is not more houses that are needed but ensuring that existing housing is used to house people rather than being used for holiday lets/homes or investment properties and that new housing is designed to meet local need not speculative greed.

But, some of the major areas for change lie outside housing itself – in terms of social welfare; earnings/’flexible’ labour market; the tax system and freedom of movement!