Another west country tourist hotspot looks set to ban any future new-build home being sold as a holiday or additional property.
Bigbury parish in the South Hams lies almost entirely within the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and has seen average prices accelerate in the past decade, considerably faster than those of most other parts of Devon.
In 2007 some 79 per cent of respondents to a parish plan said their home was the principal residence; this fell to 65 per cent by 2016 and in one specific area - Bigbury-on-Sea - only 48 per cent of respondents to the latest survey stated that their home in the area was their principal residence.
Now councillors in the wider South Hams district are this week expected to endorse the Bigbury Neighbourhood Plan, which places a ‘principle residency only’ condition on all new residential property in the parish.
A Bigbury Plan spokeswoman told the Devon Live website: “The Parish Vision is ‘to conserve and enhance the unique and special character of our rural and coastal community retaining its heritage significance and its outstanding natural beauty, whilst considering sensitive enhancements for the benefit of residents and visitors.
“The Plan proposes a small housing development of 13 dwellings … which includes eight affordable dwellings for rent or discount purchase. This primarily affordable housing scheme has been designed to provide for the local needs of the parish and to remain affordable to local people in the future.
“The new housing was proposed in the most sustainable location to meet the community’s own housing needs and that the plan provides controls to ensure that the new homes that are built will only be used as ‘principal residences’.”
A small number of other westcountry locations have already introduced this measure but in one area - St Ives - it is thought to have worsened the housing problem rather than helped.
Back in 2016 a referendum in St Ives ended with a ban on the sale of new-build flats and houses to second home buyers; a legal challenge later in the year failed, prompting a series of other referendum votes with similar results in some other westcountry locations.
At the time some estate agents and developers warned of unintentional consequences of the ban, both in St Ives and elsewhere.
A recent survey by the London School of Economics says the St Ives ban, and similar ones in a handful of other resorts in Britain - all applying only to new-build properties - have been damaging to the local construction and tourism industries.
“This has led to an increase in the price of existing homes as summer dwellers are competing for existing homes with local residents” according to Professor Christian Hilber of the LSE.
“Tourist towns can restrict second home investors with possibly positive effects on affordability, but this comes at the cost of a significant adverse effect on the local economy.”