Public meeting to debate second homes

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The MP for the West Cornwall constituency of St Ives, Andrew George, has called a public meeting to consult local people about future housing plans for Cornwall and for local people in housing need in West Cornwall in particular.

Planning and housing officers from Cornwall Council and Trevor Ives, team leader for the Cornwall, Plymouth and Torbay area of the Governments’ new Homes and Communities Agency, will join George and representatives from local housing associations on a panel of speakers to discuss the local housing challenges which West Cornwall faces, at 7pm this Friday evening (November 13) at St Keverne Parish Hall.

George has argued that Government policies have “left Cornwall as a developer’s paradise” and that local people’s housing needs remain largely unmet. He has also clashed with local second home owners on The Lizard who funded a High Court Appeal against the building of a fishermen’s jetty at Helford village which is vital for the livelihoods of many local people.

George has campaigned against policies introduced by the previous Conservative Government to subsidise council tax charges on second home owners and has sought Government support to demand tougher regulation and taxes on homes which are only used for part of the year when thousands of families in the local communities do not have a decent first home of their own.

George said: “In the lead up to the next General Election, the debate on affordable housing for locals will hot up. The government are determined to impose 70,000 new houses on Cornwall in the next 16 years.

“Cornwall’s housing stock has more than doubled in the last 40 years making it one of the fastest growing places in the United Kingdom. Yet, over that time, the housing problems of local people have got markedly worse. Therefore, simply building more unaffordable homes is not the answer. All the Government’s plans do is to turn Cornwall into a developers’ paradise. We need to give our local communities the planning powers and policy tools to build homes to meet the need of local families; to keep our schools and shops open and to maintain living communities in which local people on local incomes stand a chance of getting a decent home of their own.”