Change planning law to stop more Lakes evictions – MP tells Parliament

May 23, 2023 4:06 PM
Originally published by Tim Farron

In Parliament this morning, Cumbrian MP Tim Farron told ministers to press ahead with plans to change planning law to give local authorities the power to limit the number of short terms lets in the county.

During a Westminster Hall debate, Tim told the stories of local people and families who had been evicted from their homes in the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, so that their landlord could turn it into a holiday let.

Tim said that a severe lack of houses and flats available for long term rent meant that residents were being forced to move out of the area, after they've been evicted - further exacerbating the staffing crisis in hospitality and social care.

In the debate, Tim cited recent figures which showed that there are only 232 long-term rental properties available in the whole of Cumbria, compared to 8,384 short-term lets, of which 75% are Airbnbs.

Speaking during the debate, Tim said: "The consequences are huge and human. I think of the couple with two small children in Ambleside, she a teaching assistant and he a chef. They were evicted from their flat because the landlord wanted to go to Airbnb. They had literally nowhere else to go, so the children were out of school, a teaching assistant was lost to the local primary school and a chef lost to a local hotel. They had to move 25 miles away and out of the area.

"In Sedbergh, a relatively small town in the dales at the end of my constituency, 25 households were evicted at the same time-all chasing zero homes available for long-term rent.

"I think of a mum and her 15-year-old son, who lived their entire lives in a village just outside Grange before they were evicted. Again, there was nowhere they could remain within the community. When people are evicted, there is nowhere else to go."