83% of residents of St. Ives in Cornwall voted in a referendum to ban the sale of newly-built second homes to non-locals. This is in an attempt to slow down rising house prices in the town, to help young local people live here, and thus to prevent St Ives becoming a ghost-town off-season.
The average house price is Â£334,994, which is Â£144,000 above the national average, according to online estate agents, Housesimple.
The ban, however, cannot be implemented as Cornwall County Council have to decide whether or not to adopt the policy, which it will have to satisfy itself is both desirable and legal.
It is, of course, totally wrong for the council to have granted planning permission to property developers, and then to change the rules. Effectively, this would limit the amount of money achievable and expected on the sale of these houses.
A local developer has mounted a legal challenge, saying that the referendum should not have been held.
As one local commentator stated, â€œThere is no reason why any person could not sell their house to another local person at Â£100,000 less than they could achieve by selling their house to a non-residentâ€ (Sic â€“ Second Home Owner), â€œif they so chose.â€
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