MP keeps up fight on 'ghost villages front'

North Devon Gazette

North Devon MP Selaine Saxby is continuing to reach out to Ministers on North Devon housing issues.Â

The concern around ‘second homes’ and the impact this has on local life is a situation that can only improve through discussion, planning and action.Â

“I am under no illusion as to the extent of problems that we have seen and are still seeing in the local housing market,” said Saxby.Â

“The issues around second homes, particularly in Croyde, was raised with me before I was even elected. I have repeatedly raised concerns about housing and planning at Westminster, as I do many other issues that affect my constituents.Â

“Most recently I spoke in a Private Members’ Bill with regards to Planning Enforcement and it was an opportune moment to once again raise second homes and the issues these create with ghost villages here in North Devon.  Â

“In July, I asked a question to the Prime Minister on housing for local residents and I also spoke in a Westminster Hall debate arranged by my honourable friend, Bob Seeley MP, who has similar issues on the Isle of Wight.  Â

“In the Chamber of the House of Commons, at the end of November this year, I took the opportunity to ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP if the Government will work with coastal MPs in constituencies like North Devon, who are concerned about the impact of second homes on our supply of private lets and affordable homes for locals.Â

“I am working for the longer term to ensure that planning reforms and licencing help to not only provide affordable homes for locals but will rebalance the whole of the housing markets, and I hope local councils will also act rapidly where they can.  We need to ensure we have a vibrant tourism industry, but one that also sees local people live, work and own their own home in the towns and villages they grew up in.”Â

Housing Minister Christopher Pincher has responded to Saxby’s letters on the issue and the pair are due to meet in the New Year. Â