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Ban on second homes could have big implications for communities in Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 10:30 09 May 2016

Aldeburgh Moot Hall watched over by Snooks the town's second most famous statue

Aldeburgh Moot Hall watched over by Snooks the town's second most famous statue

Archant

Communities in Suffolk with high proportions of second homes are unlikely to ban the holiday properties – fearing an impact on their economies.

Residents of St Ives in Cornwall have voted to ban second homes and new housing projects will get planning consent in future only if they are for full-time residents.

The decision though – part of the town’s vote on its new Neighbourhood Plan (NP) – is likely to face a legal challenge in the High Court and Government ministers may also press for it to be reversed as it is feared it is discriminatory.

Suffolk communities working on their NPs are watching developments closely, but are sceptical.

In Aldeburgh some 30% of the town’s housing stock is second homes and in Southwold the figure is even higher, 36%.

Mayor of Aldeburgh Michael Kiff said: “I had understood that you couldn’t put things like this into the Neighbourhood Plan and I am very surprised.

“We are watching this with interest. I am not sure they will be able to enforce it.

“There are lots of towns up and down the country with similar situations concerning the numbers of second homes, but I think you have to take a balanced view.

“We have around 30% of second homeowners but they bring a lot of money into the town and we have a vibrant High Street on the back of that.

“A lot of second homeowners go on to become full-time homeowners because they like it so much and decide they want to live here, particularly when they retire.

Our town isn’t a morgue in winter – a lot of the second homeowners rent their properties in the winter months to make a few pounds and then return in the summer.”

Mayor of Southwold, Melanie Tucker said people needed to be cautious about banning second homes and to think through the implications.

She said: “It’s early days for NPs but it appears it would be possible to consider a ban but a town plan must reflect the overall strategy of the district in which it sits.

“I can understand the desire of residents in towns impacted by this imbalance and I can understand they could have strong feelings about it, and some residents have concerns about being priced out of the housing market, but any ban imposed – say like that envisaged – is always going to have knock-on implications which are not always apparent when the idea is first proposed. I think caution is important.”

She feared if homes were only to be sold to local people, housebuilders might go elsewhere, which would hold down the housing supply and drive up prices.

People could find ways to get round the scheme – such as swapping their first and second home designation.

A ban could also effect villages and towns nearby without bans – simply transferring the problem. Southwold has a close relationship with Reydon , where homes have traditionally been less expensive, but a ban on second homes in Southwold could make property in Reydon and other nearby communities a target for second home owners and more expensive.

7 comments

  • Been to southwold once, it was atrocious!!! The toilets on the pier disgusting, and dog mess everywhere. I visited with relatives from abroad and was mortified by the place. I wouldn't live there if you paid me!!!!

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    Itfc forever

    Tuesday, May 10, 2016

  • "She feared if homes were only to be sold to local people, housebuilders might go elsewhere, which would hold down the housing supply and drive up prices." There you have it ladies and gentlemen....another case of in it for the money. Stuff the local born and bred people... doesn't matter that they have nothing that they can afford, either buying or renting.

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    Scuzzer

    Tuesday, May 10, 2016

  • So if someone can afford a second home they will just set up a Limited Company to own it , or put it in a relatives name .....There is no stopping it in reality. The reason the Towns mentioned are attractive and profitable is BECAUSE of te second home owners , they don't even consider prices tbh. I would suggest that a rethink is necessary. Perhaps get a developer to only sell to locals , who can prove they are local and covenants in place to ensure that the new houses continue in locals hands? But i think it will be very difficult to enforce this rule.

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    Poppys Dad

    Monday, May 9, 2016

  • there has to be a balance , these attractive locations attract those who can afford to buy a second home and good luck to them, i am sure many of these second homes are let out as holiday cottages, and so many of us can stay in these nice places for a holiday. However homes at affordable prices must be available to local people who live and work in those communities.

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    oracle

    Monday, May 9, 2016

  • So "communities" like Aldeburgh and Southwold openly admit that they prefer taking the money of affluent seasonal incomers and thus keeping up their 'posh' status and high prices, to providing local housing for their own people. And they still have the nerve to call themselves "communities"?

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    blue&white

    Monday, May 9, 2016

  • So people who live in a place all year round don't spend any money there ??? What utter nonsense. We need housing for local people. I think what they've done in St Ives is brilliant and the sooner it is brought in everywhere else the better.

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    bettycoltrane

    Monday, May 9, 2016

  • A ban on second homes... This is VERY undemocratic... Can I propose a ban on second, third cars.. if you don't have a off road parking then you can't have a car. Ban on cats and my favorite.. lets ban people from having 2nd and 3rd kids.. ONE is enough (for me one is too many).. So where shall we go with baning ? I think theres going to be a huge compensation payout later in St Ives.. I think Suffolk should be very careful.. I don't want my council tax used a compensation later.

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Company Director

    Monday, May 9, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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