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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Second homes 'sales ban': solicitor asks how it can be enforced

A solicitor has asked how the ban on the sale of new-build apartments and houses to holiday home buyers in a westcountry holiday haven will be enforced.

Last week the High Court dismissed a call for a judicial review of the conduct of a referendum held in the Cornish town of St Ives in May. 

The poll heavily endorsed the adoption of a neighbourhood plan which included a specific provision saying planning consent would not be given to any new residential property which would be sold to holiday home purchasers from outside the area.

Now Paul Grant, associate solicitor at law firm Coffin Mew, has questioned how the meaure can be enforced.

“The plan in question has clearly had a high degree of local interest and involvement, and this is precisely the sort of localism in action that the Conservative government has encouraged” he says.

“It remains to be seen to what extent enforcement action may be taken against those who are in breach of the restriction, and what action will be expected to be taken to ensure compliance. Also, who will enforcement action be taken against?” he asks. 

“From a strict legal point of view, the restriction will only bite against those in occupation, so this would affect those who have bought new properties from developers who will not be living in them as their principal residence. Perhaps the ultimate effect will be to depress house prices in those areas where such restrictions are in place” Grant warns.

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