A correspondent says write to MP about second homes

From a correspondent:

Following  Simon Jupp’s and Anthony Mangnall’s welcome views on the effect of holiday uses on our housing stock I urge everyone interested in this important topic to write to their MP as I have done (see below).

It is a disgrace that a widow of my acquaintance has had to raid her small nest egg to buy her working daughter a flat as she said:

“I cant have my daughter homeless. There are no rental properties for long-term rent.”

You could ask them why a holiday let has to have planning permission to change into permanent housing stock. Why does change of use of permanent housing stock not need planning permission to holiday lets?


“Dear Simon,  

I was very interested in your article in the Exmouth Journal and pleased that you are taking an interest.

A resident of…………, I find myself living next to a house divided into 2 flats which are now second homes. I am lost as to why planning permission is needed to change a dwelling from a holiday home to a permanent dwelling but not the other way.

This next door dwelling has resulted in 2 of East Devon’s precious housing stock being lost to the community. In effect I now live next door to a rotating number of visitors, akin to a “small hotel”. This has resulted in loss of privacy and uncertainty as to the behaviour of visitors.

For many years I had neighbours. I was the first responder to a neighbour’s emergency button. Other neighbours helped in local societies.

Now ……………. Is finding it difficult to maintain local societies and elderly people can be isolated with no permanent next door neighbours. Community life is starting to crumble here like it is in so many Devon towns and villages.

My great worry is that my London acquaintances cannot see the problem and think that they have a “god given right” to a second home. This is likely to include many of those that control the legislature and media influencers.

I find it very upsetting that this change of use can take place with no prior permission and no consultation and ask that you consider that this could be an additional way forward.”