The Labour Party Parliamentary Candidates, Jayne Kirkham in Truro and Falmouth, and Perran Moon in Camborne Redruth and Hayle, have met with Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister, Matthew Pennycook to discuss Labour’s plans for extensive changes to housing policy that will have a profound effect on housing in Cornwall.
The meeting was organised by Plymouth Sutton and Devonport MP, Luke Pollard, who has been running the ‘First Homes Not Second Homes’ campaign alongside Jayne Kirkham. (First Homes Not Second Homes – Luke Pollard MP)
On the pressing issue of the excessive numbers of second homes and short-term holiday lets, where the Conservative government has manifestly failed to act with the urgency required, Labour is giving serious consideration to a raft of new powers and tools to tackle the problem. These include:
- The introduction of new planning use classes and greater scope to use Article 4 directions to give local communities the ability to address excessive concentrations of second homes or holiday lets;
- The ability to implement selective licensing schemes for holiday and short-term lets;
- Raising the maximum level at which local authorities can set council tax premiums to 300%;
- Raising the 3% stamp duty surcharge for second homes.
The next Labour government will significantly increase the number of council and social houses being built.
Reforms are also being considered to the planning system to give local communities greater control over housebuilding in their areas by according greater weight to up-to-date local and neighbourhood development plans and introducing mechanisms to block speculative development that does not align with them.
Labour has already committed to ensuring that local first-time buyers will be prioritised for new homes built, so that our grown-up children living at home are finally able to get on the housing ladder. Labour’s new Renter’s Charter will protect Cornish tenants and make renting more secure by scrapping Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and extending notice periods.
Under a new Labour government, rapid devolution of powers to Cornwall will begin the process of solving the Cornish housing crisis – with a goal of ensuring that everyone will have a first home, before anyone owns a second home.
Jayne Kirkham, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate in Truro and Falmouth said:
‘Our housing crisis has been getting steadily worse right across Cornwall. We have upwards of 25,000 second homes and holiday lets in Cornwall. Meanwhile, 23,500 families wait for a home on the Housing list, because purchase and rental prices are way beyond their means. The Labour Party completely understands the challenges this presents for Cornish communities.’
Perran Moon, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate in Camborne Redruth and Hayle said: ‘I am extremely excited about the range of measures that Jayne and I have been discussing with colleagues at Labour head office. I am very confident that by the time of the general election, the offer we make to the Cornish people to deal with our housing crisis will be in stark contrast to the record of abject failure on housing from Cornish Conservatives, both locally and nationally. When it comes to dealing with the Cornish housing crisis, Labour means business.’