Farron Secures 2nd Homes Meeting

11 December 2018, 10:02 | Updated: 11 December 2018, 10:05

Tim Farron during Housing Questions

The number of properties in the South Lakes classed as second homes is approaching 4,000.

Many lie empty most of the year.

The South Lakes MP Tim Farron is going to meet the housing minister about it.

He says some communities are turning into "ghost towns" as they have so few permanent residents.

Speaking during housing questions, Mr. Farron said: “Will the minister meet with me to discuss funding new affordable homes in rural communities like mine in Cumbria by allowing councils to increase council tax on second homes.

“Excessive second home ownership robs our communities of a permanent population.

“A second homes tax could help fund affordable homes for local families and keep our communities alive.”

In response, the housing minister Kit Malthouse said he would be “happy” to meet to discuss this and said he: “recognised that in some parts of the country, second homes can be an issue”.

Speaking afterwards, Mr. Farron said: “I’m glad that the minister has agreed to meet with me to discuss how we can tackle this.

“This has been an ongoing problem in the South Lakes for some time now, with many communities turning into ghost towns.

"Allowing councils to significantly increase council tax on second homes would provide councils in areas with high second home ownership with a fair and effective way of raising funds which could be ring-fenced to fund key local services and deliver affordable homes for local families.”