Cornwall has some of the most expensive properties in the UK. Houses worth millions are bulldozed to be replaced by houses costing even more. Houses are being built throughout the county which are “affordable” only by wealthy second home buyers.
The profits from these developments are going to a small coterie of landowners such as the Duchy of Cornwall, the Tregothnan Estate, the Enys estate, along with a favoured few developers and builders.
Cornwall should campaign to put an end to speculative building projects for second homes. Cornwall Council should strive to impose a planning condition on all new developments that they are sold only to those who satisfy a residential or key worker qualification.
We will also campaign to ensure that existing second homes are taxed so that the owners make a real contribution to the local services they use, and welcome any commitment to the introduction of a double-council-tax levy on second homes.
We recognise that many holiday-lets could also be made available to help alleviate the chronic housing shortage, and will explore ways of using planning and taxation laws to encourage such socially-useful purposes.
We will end the use of a notional 80% of market value as the Cornwall definition of “affordable” housing, replacing it with a multiple of average wages in Cornwall.
We would suspend Cornwall Council’s plan to build 1,000 homes, pending reform of its purpose, to ensure that it meets need, not greed.
We note that local government in Scotland abolished the Right To Buy in 2016. This legislation, introduced by Margaret Thatcher in 1980, has contributed to the destruction of local communities throughout Cornwall, particularly in rural areas where genuinely affordable social housing is essential.
We will campaign to scrap Right To Buy legislation in England, so that all new social housing in Cornwall will be subject to a residency qualification and not available for resale.
We would only permit new housing on brownfield sites.
We would reintroduce the “zero carbon homes” building regulations.
We would introduce a Land Benefit Tax so that only the council benefits from changes in planning zones
We would introduce a Land Tax to replace Council Tax.
The Cornwall Investment Bank would fund a programme of home insulation aiming at ensuring all homes are carbon neutral by 2025 where technically possible. Cornwall CC should apply to national government for additional assistance to develop insulation programmes for traditional buildings