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Balancing Beauty and Affordability: Cornwall's Struggle with Second Homes Sparks Government Intervention

You would be right in thinking that Cornwall is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK, although I am very much biased having grown up there. A place which is renowned for its amazing beaches and idyllic surroundings, it is now attracting tourists all year round. Whilst this provides a strong boost for the local economy, it does in turn expose the lack of affordable housing due to the rise in second homes. With this becoming common across many of the UK’s beauty spots such as the Cotswolds and other seaside areas such as Devon and Dorset, the government is looking to bring in new controls on holiday lets. 

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced that local residents will now have a form of protection due to changes in planning rules. This means that individuals may need to seek permission from the local authority to turn their home into a short-term let (if the local authority deems this to be necessary). A new mandatory register will also record information for the relevant local authorities regarding the short term lets in their area. Whilst the government recognises the economic boost short term lets and tourism generally provides, it’s also realising the importance of local people being able to reside in their communities too. If you speak with many local people in areas like Cornwall, it is too common a story to hear that they can’t live where they grew up due to lack of housing. It is hoped the new rules will provide local people with some relief along with also striking a very important balance between the necessary income tourism generates and the strong sense of local community. 

To learn more about BPE's Residential Property team and our offerings, please click here or email sophie.wade@bpe.co.uk

These notes have been prepared for the purpose of articles only. They should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice.

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Sophie Wade

Solicitor Apprentice


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