Residents of St Ives in Cornwall are to vote on a draft neighbourhood plan which proposes that new open market housing, excluding replacement dwellings, will only be supported where there is a restriction to ensure its occupancy as a principal residence.
The referendum on the plan, which can be viewed here, will be held on 5 May 2016.
The wording of the H2 Principal Residence Requirement is as follows:
“Due to the impact upon the local housing market of the continued uncontrolled growth of dwellings used for holiday accommodation (as second or holiday homes) new open market housing, excluding replacement dwellings, will only be supported where there is a restriction to ensure its occupancy as a Principal Residence.
Sufficient guarantee must be provided of such occupancy restriction through the imposition of a planning condition or legal agreement. New unrestricted second homes will not be supported at any time.
Principal Residences are defined as those occupied as the residents’ sole or main residence, where the residents spend the majority of their time when not working away from home.
The condition or obligation on new open market homes will require that they are occupied only as the primary (principal) residence of those persons entitled to occupy them. Occupiers of homes with a Principal Residence condition will be required to keep proof that they are meeting the obligation or condition, and be obliged to provide this proof if/when Cornwall Council requests this information. Proof of Principal Residence is via verifiable evidence which could include, for example (but not limited to) residents being registered on the local electoral register and being registered for and attending local services (such as healthcare, schools etc).”
The neighbourhood plan says that St Ives is in the top five settlements in Cornwall with the highest proportions of second homes and holiday lets. In 2011, 25% of dwellings in the plan area were not occupied by a resident household, up 67% on 2001.