Page last updated at 15:26 GMT, Monday, 29 March 2010 16:26 UK

MP calls for new law to restrict second home ownership

Liberal Democrat MP Dan Rogerson has called for tough new planning laws aimed at preventing second homes pushing house prices beyond the reach of local people.

Introducing a bill under the ten minute rule on 29 March 2010, the MP for North Cornwall said the problem is "getting worse" in his area, leading to the closure of small schools and post offices.

He said anyone who wants to turn a property into a holiday home should be forced to apply for planning permission.

Mr Rogerson told the Commons that increasing numbers of visitors to Cornwall are looking to "grab a piece" of land.

"In many communities, this has inflated house prices and the lack of local population in these communities has led to... the closure of small schools, closing post offices due to declining business," he said.

"It poses challenges for the recruitment of retained firefighters who... are forced to move away from the historic communities that their families have lived in."

His Second Home Ownership (Regulation) Bill would give councils the power to require "change of use" planning permission before existing and new homes could become second homes.

He accused the government and Conservatives of ignoring the issue. The bill was approved but is unlikely to become law due to a lack of parliamentary time.

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