Padstow to ban second home owners from buying new builds in Neighbourhood Plan

Like St Ives, which pioneered the move in 2016, Padstow is looking to limit the number of second home owners in the town as a way to stop local residents being priced out of their own town by wealthy outsiders.

Olivier Vergnault www.cornwalllive.com

Padstow Town Council is getting ready to submit its Parish Neighbourhood Plan.

Neighbourhood plans allow communities to have a say on what they want to see in their towns from skateparks to green spaces, and more importantly where and how many houses can be built and crucially who can buy them.

Padstow has been working on its own NP since 2018 and is about to send its latest iteration to the planning authority – Cornwall Council.

Like St Ives, which pioneered the move in 2016, Padstow is looking to limit the number of second home owners in the town as a way to stop local residents being priced out of their own town by wealthy outsiders.

The planning restriction comes as while about 2,500 people live in Padstow all year round, that figure more than doubles during the tourist season. Padstow also receives more than 500,000 day-visitors every year.

In 2017, Padstow was rated by the Halifax Building Society as the fifth least affordable seaside place for properties in England, with an average house price of £423,000. House prices have since gone through the roof with some houses in the historic heart of the town far exceeding £500,000.

A recent survey of residents also revealed that not many local people can actually afford a home over £200,000.

A spokesman for the town council said: “There must be little doubt that Padstow has been one of the primary areas for second-home seekers for many years.

“When we started our neighbourhood plan three years ago more than two thirds of all houses purchased in the PL28 postcode area were for second homes.

“Our own residents have told us that they feel it is very depressing to have so many houses in the town empty for most of the year and have highlighted the very negative effect it has on the community, especially in the winter months.

“St Ives Neighbourhood Plan pioneered the way in which the coastal communities of Cornwall can place a legally enforceable restriction on the sale of new open market dwellings in the interests of sustainability.

“As a result, our proposal for open market housing will only be supported where first and future occupancy occupation is restricted by a legal agreement to ensure that each new dwelling is occupied only as a principal residence.”

It means that newcomers to the parish will have to prove the new build property they are trying to purchase is their main residence. Proof needed will include registering to vote in the area or putting children in local schools.

The condition that new homes should be for local residents will also include resale – which means that even when people sell their home, only buyers who want to make it their primary residence will be able to buy.

The town also wants affordable homes to blend in with market value homes on new developments to avoid any ghetto effect.

The NP adds: “While we have no statutory obligation to meet all the local housing needs within the neighbourhood area, we have concluded that it would be wrong not to ensure that all larger housing developments provide as high a proportion of affordable homes as is achievable.

“We continue to favour developments that provide a mix of market housing and housing that is affordable and accessible to local people. Different housing tenures on the same development should be integrated and relatively indistinguishable from each other. In this way we will achieve more balanced communities.”

As Padstow also attracts its fair share of retirees, the town council is asking that new developments must include homes designed to accommodate older households.

The town council spokesman added: “Due to the impact upon the local housing market of the continued uncontrolled growth of dwellings used for holiday accommodation (as second or holiday homes), our plan will support the provision of a principal residence condition to be applied on all new build housing, other than one-for-one replacement.

“It will bring greater balance and mixture to the local housing market and create new opportunities for people to live and work here, thereby strengthening the community and local economy.”

Comments on the neighbourhood plan are being invited from 9am on Monday February 8 for an extended 10-week period closing at midnight on Sunday April 18.

Hard copies of the plan and comment forms are available by post upon request for those without online access. To request a hard copy please contact the Padstow Town Council Offices by leaving a voicemail message on 01841 532296. Alternatively, by email to ndp@padstow-tc.gov.uk

People may comment on the plan by completing a comment form online at https://padstow-tc.gov.uk/regulation-14-consultation/ and emailing it to ndp@padstow-tc.gov.uk or by completing a paper form and delivering or posting it to NDP, Padstow Town Council, Station House, Station Road, Padstow, PL28 8DA.