Exmoor shuns second home buyers

The Land Is Ours office at tlio.demon.co.uk
Wed Sep 5 22:23:11 BST 2001

Wednesday, 5 September, 2001, BBC News Online
Exmoor shuns second home buyers
Ref: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1526000/1526249.stm

Outside buyers could face strict controls to help locals

Exmoor could become the first national park to prevent outsiders buying 
second homes in the area, in order to stop local people being priced out of 
the market

Wages in the area are well below the national average, while Exmoor house 
prices have risen by a third in the past three years.

County planners have described the increase in the number of second homes 
as "alarming" - although the problem is shared by all Britain's national 

If Exmoor's radical housing policy is approved, from the end of next year, 
buyers of all newly built homes will need to fulfil strict criteria, 
including residency in the local area for 10 years.

National Park Authority's principal planning officer Jack Ellerby said: 
"House prices within the national park are significantly higher than many 
parts of the region.

Exmoor's problem
Average house prices have risen 31% in three years
Average wage 76% below the national average

"The increasing gap between local incomes and house prices shows how 
important it is that we succeed in introducing new housing policies that 
will enable local people to continue to live within the area."

Although other national parks have introduced measures to try to increase 
the amount of housing for local people, Exmoor is the first to suggest a 
policy deliberately targeting new second homes.

'Erosion of community'

The average house price in Exmoor, which lies on the Devon and Somerset 
border, is now £187,603 according to a recent survey.

The council's new local plan, due to go out to consultation next month, 
also suggests anyone wanting to occupy a property for less than six months 
of the year, will need to seek planning permission and where the number of 
second homes is already higher than 10%, applications will be refused.

<Picture: Environment secretary Michael Meacher>
Michael Meacher: Said to be "on board" with plans

The policy devised by the authority is not retrospective, so would not 
affect existing second home owners.

But the results of the policy - should it be adopted - will be scrutinised 
by other authorities around Britain.

The Welsh Assembly is publishing its own research into second homes early 
next year.

Plaid Cymru MP Ellfyn Llwyd said the problem was "the gradual erosion of 
community" and in Wales itself, "the dilution of the Welsh language and 

Environment Minister Michael Meacher was "on board in principle" with the 
arguments for planning restrictions being put forward, the MP said.

If such measures are introduced, there are concerns over how they will be 

Human rights legislation may also open the way for such policies to be 
contested in the courts.

The Land Is Ours
... A Landrights Movement for All

The Land Is Ours campaigns peacefully for access to the land, its resources 
and the decision making processes affecting them, for everyone - 
irrespecitive of race, age, or gender.

Postal address :
16B Cherwell St, OXFORD, OX4 1BG, England.
or contact us at:  office at tlio.demon.co.uk
Press enquiries :  07961 460171
website :  http://www.oneworld.org/tlio/

For a year's subscription for the TLIO  newsletter (3 times a year), we are 
asking for £3 per annum.  Please make cheques payable to "The Land Is Ours". 

Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.185 / Virus Database: 88 - Release Date: 18/08/00

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list