The High Court has upheld the result of a referendum in a second-home hotspot, raising the possibility that such a ban will be introduced in other tourist locations.
The town of St Ives in Cornwall, where it is believed 1 in 4 properties is a second-home or holiday-let, held a referendum back in May, in which 83% of voters voted for a ban on the sale of new-build properties to holiday-home buyers.
The legality of the referendum was challenged, but has now been upheld, and councils across the country are reportedly now looking into similar bans for their own towns which have high proportion of holiday homes and lets.
Agents in St Ives have reported a lower demand for properties there, with buyers seeing the ban as a ban on all properties, not just new-builds, and as an indication that holiday-makers are not welcome in the port.
This has raised further debate in the town which relies so heavily on tourism year-round for its economy.
David Gibson, partner at Whitton & Laing, said “whether such a ban would be introduced in places like Exmouth or Budleigh, and whether it is even under consideration, remains to be seen, but any towns thinking of this would do well to consider the full implications and watch the effect on St Ives closely”.