Vickery HolmanVickery Holman

The South West Specialists

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Ban on Second Homes?

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The St Ives draft Neighbourhood Plan has ambitions to prevent any new homes being built within its boundary and occupied as second homes, which has raised eyebrows nationally.

This ambition to create more houses for “locals” is laudable, but this mechanism alone is unlikely to succeed.  Irrespective of the proposed policy’s conflict with National Planning Guidance and planning regulations, it is unlikely to work in the market place.  The house building market is dominated by national house builders, with 50% of all new houses built by eight large companies, who could well defer from building in St Ives at all if the market is to be restricted to them.  At the same time the on-going demand for second homes will concentrate on the existing stock.  This is likely to further inflate prices, especially in an area where new supply is restricted.  Unless something can be done to facilitate the increased supply of new homes or dampening the demand for second homes, the policy is likely to be counterproductive.