Whitby votes to end second home ownership as town furious at rise in holiday cottages

Reasons why the UK could face a summer of travel misery

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Local residents won a landslide victory in favour of banning second homes in Whitby. There were 2,111 votes in favour and just 157 against the ban.

The poll doesn’t carry legal weight but it will give locals a mandate to crack down on second homes in the seaside town.

Locals hope the poll will force North Yorkshire planning authorities to clamp down on second home owners.

The issue isn’t unique to the Whitby, with locals in other popular staycation spots such as Cornwall also calling for controls on second homes.

Campaigner and local politician Philip Trumper said: “What we are finding is Whitby house prices are unaffordable to local people and they having to leave the town and move away to work making it unsustainable for the community.

“Every day I speak to local people whose loved ones have had to move away and find a job closer to where they are living.”

In the poll, residents had to give a yes or no response to the question: ‘Should all new build and additional housing in Whitby Parish be restricted to full time local occupation as a primary residence only and forever?’

Second home ownership became more popular during the pandemic when many Britons chose to holiday in the UK.

In some hotspot areas, house prices have soared which has forced some local people to move out of their homes.

Currently, one in five properties in the pretty seaside town of Whitby are second homes and holiday lets.

One person tweeted: “Well done to the people of Whitby for publicly voting to ban the sale of new-build houses as second homes.”

However another person tweeted: “In five years you will be wanting people back! Tourists and second home owners bring so much to the town and surrounding towns!”

One resident told Mail Online that they lived on a street with nine houses and about five were holiday lets.

They also claimed that the price of a property in the town had gone up by £100,000 in a year.

Another resident said that no local people could afford the properties and said the situation was “ridiculous”.

Resident Sandra Turner, told the BBC: “It’s not that we’re against tourism, we’re not, but we don’t want to give up our towns either.

“We need to be able to live here, we need to be able to work here, families want their families to stay here and not move away and that’s what’s happening.”

An estate agent said that about 75 percent of properties in Whitby were sold to investors or as second homes.

The popularity of staycation holidays soared during the pandemic with many people opting to visit seaside towns such as Whitby.

However, experts believe this trend could change this year as travel restrictions end and Britons can go abroad.

Malcolm Bell, CEO of Visit Cornwall, told Express.co.uk that he thought visitor numbers would see a huge decrease from last year.

He added that some holiday let owners could be put off if they were unable to earn as much money as last summer.

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