It has been widely publicised that residents of St Ives, Cornwall recently voted in favour of laws restricting the number of second-home owners in the town. This raises the question whether further 'tourist hotspots' will soon follow suit?
In the short-term these measures may increase the housing stock for locals but what will the long term impact be? Will there be an adverse effect on the tourism? Will those looking for a second home simply look else where, even abroad?
Whilst obviously a major factor it seems somewhat simplistic to place the blame for locals being priced out of the housing market solely on second home owners. In reality should we also be considering the fact that Cornwall is one of the poorest parts of Europe? Could this also be preventing locals from accessing the housing market? Cornwall is after all the only county in England to qualify for emergency EU funding.
Unless legislation moves to tackle all of the underlying factors contributing to the lack of 'affordable' housing for local people the problem will only be temporarily alleviated and not cured.
Earlier in May residents of St Ives, Cornwall, voted in favour of introducing planning laws that could restrict the number of second-home owners in the town by making newbuild properties available only to those who live there full-time.