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The heated debate over bans on second homes in popular coastal holiday destinations reached boiling point last night after businesses branded locals opposed to outsiders ‘extremists’.

Idyllic tourist locations around the country are fighting back against the influx of wealthy outsiders with a series of measures, including ensuring newbuild properties are only sold as principal residences.

Residents have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the crackdowns, with nine to one majorities in some places, arguing the demand has left them unable to afford homes where they grew up.

But business owners have now lashed out at the moves, warning tourists’ money is vital to their survival.

Maxwell Graham-Wood, who owns Satchells Wines in Burnham Market, Norfolk, has placed a sign outside his premises that states ‘Second home owners and holidaymakers are WELCOME HERE’.

Maxwell Graham-Wood, who owns Satchells Wines in Burnham Market, Norfolk, has placed a sign outside his premises stating second home owners are ‘welcome’

It comes after another Norfolk village, Blakeney, banned people from buying second homes

A sign outside Satchells advises members of the public that second home owners and holiday makers are welcome inside their shop

He said: ‘If we had to rely on local people for business then there wouldn’t be a single business left in the village because they don’t shop here.

‘Businesses love second home owners and holidaymakers and the sooner these extremists can drop this ridiculous attitude towards the people that keep our economy going, the better.’

Arthur Howell, of Arthur Howell Butchers in nearby Wells-next-the-Sea, added: ‘We need the business that holidaymakers bring in over the summer to get us through the winter. It would be very worrying if that was to stop.

‘The money we get from second home owners and tourists doesn’t just go to one business because we use local builders, local cattle producers and local plumbers.

‘It would have a huge knock-on effect on the area if we lost that.’

Another business owner, who didn’t want to be identified in case it dented spending by locals ‘which is not much but all I get in the off-season’, said: ‘These referendums are short-sighted protectionism – they are not protecting people like me.

‘Shops like mine rely hugely on big spends by visitors, whereas locals tend to go elsewhere, particularly for things like groceries. They are also vital to the variety and character in these locations but they’re going to kill us off.’

A swathe of holiday hotspots, such as St Ives in Cornwall, Salcombe in Devon, Swanage in Dorset and Tenby in Pembrokeshire, have taken action against second homes and holiday lets.

Concerns had been growing for years but became more acute due to the popularity of staycations since the pandemic.

Critics say communities – where around half the dwellings are often owned by outsiders or are rented short-term – are left like ‘ghost towns’ outside holiday seasons and weekends, when townies return to their main homes.

House prices have also spiralled, with some locals left needing 30 times their salary to buy an average property in their area.

Villages such as the picturesque Blakeney are reportedly left like ‘ghost towns’ outside of the summer season

The government last year closed a loophole which allows owners of second homes in England to avoid paying council tax and access small business rates relief

Local councillors who arranged for the referendums – which include other measures such as developers having to show converting properties into lets will not have an adverse impact on parking and noise – defended the votes.

Dennis Clark, chairman of Burnham Market Parish Council, which imposed curbs last month after 80 per cent of voters backed them, said: ‘We don’t want to keep people away from Burnham Market but we want to encourage lower-cost housing so that the people who work here can live here.

‘We need young people to be able to stay here to keep the village vibrant.’

Nigel Sutcliffe, the deputy chairman of Blakeney Parish Council which announced a ban last week, insisted colleagues had taken the right course of action.

‘I think they did because there was a group that consulted with the population,’ he said.

‘The council were only following the wishes of the people, although I understand where businesses are coming from.’

The government last year closed a loophole which allows owners of second homes in England to avoid paying council tax and access small business rates relief by declaring an intention to let the property out to holidaymakers.

But critics say this has not provided a ‘silver bullet’ to fix the problem, while research suggests crackdowns imposed by communities can actually push up house prices as they make holiday homes scarcer.

North West Norfolk Tory MP James Wild said further action was necessary – but should be tailored to individual areas.

‘Many constituents have raised concerns about the impact of holiday lets and second homes and the government has already introduced measures to strike a balance to have sustainable local communities and support tourism,’ he said.

‘Instead of a blanket ban approach, it’s important to recognise that in different places different issues will arise and local people’s views should be listened to as part of fostering sustainable villages and coastal towns.’

Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk

Content source – www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com

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