Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

The beautiful UK seaside village so overwhelmed with second homes locals ‘live in sheds’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun4,2024

Residents in the UK’s “second home capital” have said that they have been forced to move into sheds and caravans as house prices continue to rise.

Surveys conducted in the village and surrounding seaside town in 2021 found that almost three-quarters of the houses were second homes, but residents now believe this figure to be even higher.

Families of the Cornish village of St Minver, near Polzeath, say their community has become a ghost town. It is where celebrities such as David Cameron, Rick Stein and Gordon Ramsey have their holiday homes.

The village’s only pub, the Fourways Inn, is no longer sustainable to stay open all year due to the amount of homes kept empty over the winter months.

As such, a recent planning application wished to turn the pub into six holiday lets, which was met with objections from villagers.

However, the landlord, James Mercer, who has run the pub since 1983, said: “I’m for it because if he gets permission then it’s sold and I can retire, if it’s not I can’t.

“Since Covid business has been a disaster. We have been shut since September because in the winter it just doesn’t pay to be open, nobody lives around here any more.

“What used to be a healthy local trade has just disappeared because of second homes,” he said to The Sun.

Cornwall has the highest proportion of second homes in the country. The Council of St Minver has announced a policy to double council tax for second homes from April next year, but locals are not convinced that this will bring any improvement.

Young adults in the area have taken to buying used caravans from Facebook Marketplace to park on their parent’s drive or in fields instead of buying a house. When asked how he rated their chances of buying a home nearby, Mercer said: “Fine if they have a couple of million in their pocket, if not forget it.”

Joe Mercer, 19, who grew up in St Minver, said: ““I don’t know anybody my age who has been able to buy a house, most of them are still living at home.

“Living in a caravan would be a lot more affordable, that’s what my friends are doing… but it’s not very homely.”

Near Lizard Point on the south coast, a family of four were forced to move into a static caravan due to the second home crisis, leaving mum-of-two Sarah Brim, 31, saying “It’s becom[ing] easier to find a property that allows pets than it is [for] children”

After searching for months, Ms Brim and her partner, James, also 31, who have a combined income of £43,000 were unable to find a property they could afford. “House hunting at the moment is horrific. We’ve been told we need to earn 36 times the monthly rent to even be able to view a property, never mind the amount of properties that specify either no children, or one child only.”

The holiday park they have moved to is filled with similar people who have been priced out of the property market by holidaymakers. It is reported that around 27,000 families in Cornwall are on housing waiting lists.

A Cornwall Council spokesperson said: “Cornwall continues to experience extreme and unprecedented pressures on housing and we have the [utmost] sympathy for our residents unable to find a home.”

The Council, they said, remained “committed” to delivering suitable housing for the residents, working to build more council homes.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “The beautiful UK seaside village so overwhelmed with second homes locals ‘live in sheds’”
  1. As a resident of St Minver, it’s heartbreaking to see our once vibrant community reduced to a ghost town because of the overwhelming number of second homes. Living in sheds and caravans shouldn’t be our reality. Something needs to change before it’s too late.

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