Council could ban sales of second homes

People could be prevented from buying new build properties as second homes in Whitby under plans dis discussed by the parish council and backed by local residents.

A poll was launched for locals which asked whether all new build and additional housing in Whitby should be restricted to full-time local occupation as a primary residence.

Some 93% voted in favour from a turnout of 23% on Monday, albeit it the vote isn’t legally binding.

The move is likely to be motivated by the number of properties being purchased as investments, as a recent development saw 19 of 20 homes bought as holiday lets, according to a councillor.

Alf Abbot, a town and borough councillor, said: “I don’t think anyone here was surprised by the result.

“This is the number one concern for everyone in this town. There are no homes for local people anymore. And when they do become available, the prices are sky-high because there is so much demand from people wanting holiday homes.

“There are villages around Whitby where, come November, they’re ghost towns because no-one lives there full time anymore.”

In 2021 nearly 20% of all properties in the area were second homes or holiday lets.

Whitby received the second highest price increase of any coastal resort last year, with a price hike of 17%, bringing the average to almost £255,000.

Conservative councillor Phil Trumper, from Scarborough Borough Council, said: “We’re giving planning permission to new developments on the basis that they’re going to provide housing stock for the housing need for local people.

“But that’s not happening, they’re being taken away. For example, a new development recently built, I think out of the 20 new properties built, 19 of them went to holiday lets.”

Whitby Community Network, the organiser of the poll, said the poll shows that “change is needed”.

A spokesperson said: “The poll results clearly demonstrate the strength of feeling in the local community … We trust that our elected councillors will take note and take action.”

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