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The Sunday Telegraph (p27) covers the issue of second homes, raised last week by environment minister Michael Meach...
The Sunday Telegraph (p27) covers the issue of second homes, raised last week by environment minister Michael Meacher.

One feature looked at the pressures and possible solutions from the attractive and affected rural areas, while Richard Ehrman argued that planning restrictions - real or imagined - led to councils not allowing enough new houses to be built in the countryside.

Stan Collins, a spokesman for the Second Homes Project for South Lakeland DC, is working with colleagues and the Local Government Association on setting up a potential deterrent for second-home owners. He not only wants the 50% rebate on council tax for second-homers removed, he wants them to be charged double the amount charged to full-time residents. The scheme has been put before government.

Michael gates, a Labour councillor on North Norfolk DC agrees. He saud:'The influx of second-homers has seen the price of three-bedroom houses in coastal villages shoot up from£40,000 to£77,000 in the past few years. Reforming the council tax situation is the only chance we have of redressing the balance'.

But official figures show that vistors to Norfolk, including weekenders, are doing quite a bit of economic 'redressing' as it is: they spend£965 million a year in the county and sustain 34,000 jobs.
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