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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 October 2005, 07:53 GMT 08:53 UK
MP calls for cap on second homes
More help is needed to provide affordable homes in the Lake District, an MP has said.

Lib Dem member for Westmoreland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron, was raising the issue in the Commons on Thursday.

Mr Farron claims the average income for the area is 16,000 a year, but average house prices are about 200,000.

In an adjournment debate on Thursday, Mr Farron is calling on the government to introduce a cap on second home ownership in the Lake District.

He said: "This is an unsustainable position for South Lakeland.

"We are losing over a quarter of our young people who do not return and it has come to the point where we have to ask the government to take action and intervene.

Controversial plans

"One in six homes in the area is a second home and that is a very difficult position to sustain, when that means many communities are under stocked in terms of a young population.

"What I am asking for today is for a cap to be put on second home ownership throughout the country, but especially in areas like the Lake District."

Mr Fallon said he also wanted the government to drop controversial plans to let people buy second homes as part of their savings for retirement.

Currently there are more than 3,500 second homes in South Lakeland alone.

Earlier this year a report by Britain's biggest mortgage lender, The Halifax, revealed first-time buyers were being priced out of the rural market by second-home owners.

It found house prices in rural areas had risen faster than towns and cities in the past 10 years.

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