Have your say on Norfolk's second homes boom

Morston Harbour in Norfolk Picture: Chris Bishop

Morston, in north Norfolk, where almost 50pc of properties are second homes - Credit: Chris Bishop

It's the issue everyone's got an opinion on in parts of Norfolk - but is there an answer?

Second homes and holiday lets help support the region's tourism industry.

But, say critics, they also take properties which could house local people and drive up prices beyond their pockets.

Now we want to hear what you think.

Are you a local person who can't afford to buy a home in the community you grew up in? Do you own a business which depends on tourism? 

Has your community been blighted by the loss of amenities because there isn't enough trade to support them all-year-round? Are you a second home or holiday let owner - if so what are your views?

Please take a couple of minutes to complete our survey, the results of which will be published in a later series of articles.

North Norfolk has the highest number of second homes outside of London.

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Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) say 79 out of the 157 homes in Salthouse,  50.3pc, are second homes or holiday homes.

In Morston, the figure is 47.7pc and in Blakeney, 43.3pc.

In St Ives in Cornwall, the council imposed a ban on new properties being sold for second homes in a bid to ease the crisis.

But three years on, a study by the London School of Economics (LSE) says it just made matters worse by reducing the number of available properties, switching demand from new-build to existing  properties and driving prices up still further.

There have been calls for an extra tax on second homes, which could be ploughed back into building affordable properties for local people.

The Welsh government has said some second home owners could have to start paying four times their current level of council tax from April next year, while councils there can already charge a second home premium of up to 100pc.

Owners of second homes in England can avoid paying council tax and access small business rates relief by simply declaring the property is a holiday let.

From April 1, 2023, holiday let owners will be required to provide proof their properties are being rented out between 70 and 140 days a year to access rates relief.

Those who do not let out their properties must pay full council tax on them.