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Village votes on proposals to curb second homes and holiday lets

Proposals to curb the number of second homes and holiday lets are going to the vote in Burnham Market <i>(Image: Matthew Usher)</i>
Proposals to curb the number of second homes and holiday lets are going to the vote in Burnham Market (Image: Matthew Usher)

Villagers are set to vote on proposals to curb the number of holiday lets and second homes in a community where they account for almost half of properties.

Burnham Market's new neighbourhood plan includes a principal residence condition on all new developments, enforceable through the planning system.

It adds proposals to change the use of properties to holiday lets will also not be supported.

"In recent decades, the demography of the parish has changed dramatically, and second homes and now furnished holiday lets account for almost half of the residential properties in the village," the draft plan says.

"The increase in property prices and rents has meant that many local people are now unable to afford to either buy or rent a home in the parish."

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It adds affordability is "a serious and worsening challenge in Burnham Market", which now has a low proportion of younger people and families with children.

The draft plan says they find it difficult to get on the housing ladder in a village where the average house price increased by more than 50pc between 2011, when it was £420,000 and 2020, when it was £636,000.

It adds: "The number of furnished holiday lets and the impact this has on the community is a key concern and there is strong support of 90pc [of 504 people who responded] for restricting second home ownership of any new properties.

"There is a sense that the community needs rebalancing – in relation to the properties being built, shops and services that are available, and the proportion of permanent residents compared to holiday makers."

Voting in the referendum will take place at Burnham Market and Norton Village Hall, on Beacon Hill Road on Thursday, September 21 (7am-10pm).

Counting will take place on Monday, September 25. The plan will be adopted if more then 50pc of voters agree.

Those taking part in the poll should bring photo ID.