Housing minister offers to host roundtable event in the Lake District on second homes crisis

May 17, 2022 9:12 AM
Originally published by Tim Farron

On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, South Lakes MP Tim Farron urged the Government to change planning law to give local councils the power to limit the number of second homes in Cumbria.

In response, the Minister for Housing offered to host a roundtable event in the Lake District to see what more could be done to tackle the housing crisis.

Speaking during Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Questions in Parliament, Tim said: "It's vital that houses which are given planning permission are then used for the purposes that was agreed in the first place.

"I'm talking about second home ownership - homes that were built for local families that end up being second homes, leading to communities being hollowed out.

"Would he agree to look again at the bill that is coming and look at bringing in a new change of use so that second homes and holiday lets are separate categories of planning use, so that homes in Cumbria can remain for local families and not just become part of ghost towns?"

Responding, the Housing Minister Stuart Andrew said: "The issue of second homes is something that I seem to be dealing with on a daily basis with colleagues from around the country raising it with me and highlighting some of the concerns they have for their communities.

"We have in the bill the ability for local councils to increase council tax on those second homes.

"But I think there is more we need to explore and that's why I'm doing a series of roundtable events around the country and maybe I can come up to the Lake District to do one there."

Speaking afterwards, Tim said: "I'm pleased that the minister has offered to come to up to Cumbria to discuss the housing crisis.

"This has so many knock on effects from businesses not being able to recruit staff, to not enough children going to the local schools, so it's massively important that this is addressed as a matter of urgency."