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Northumberland moves to ban property sales to holiday home buyers

The county council says it wants to protect communities in areas where 20% of homes have already been bought as holiday or second homes.

Nigel Lewis

holiday homes

Northumberland is the latest – and largest – local authority to propose changes to its planning policy that would see property sales banned to outsiders in areas where second homes and holiday homes are popular.

The county council has published its draft local plan and, during ongoing consultations with locals and the property industry, it has been revealed that planners want to see new restrictions placed on second homes.

“To help sustain the vitality of communities, in parishes where 20% or more of household spaces are identified in the latest Census as having no usual residents, a principal residency restriction will be applied to all new market dwellings, which will be secured through a section 106 agreement,” the document says.

This would effectively ban sales to buyers who cannot prove they live in an area for a majority of the year and, across significant swathes of the county, restrict to whom estate agents and builders can sell homes.

House prices

Within the consultation replies, the Home Builders Federation claims such a policy would lower prices in these holiday home hotspots, to which the council’s planners said this ‘could meet the needs of the population’.

One of the key areas that is likely to feel the brunt of such a policy is Bamburgh (pictured), which estate agency Strutt & Parker markets as a ‘holiday home hotspot’ along with Amble, Alnmouth, Seahouses (which already has a local restrictions on second homes), Warkworth, Beadnell, Craster, Newton-by-the-sea and Embleton.

Other areas where holiday home sales bans have been introduced or are under consideration include St Ives in Cornwall and Fowey in Cornwall, as well as councils in Suffolk, Norfolk, Cumbria and Derbyshire.

Read more about holiday homes.

Read the Northumberland plan in detail.

March 4, 2020

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