MP challenges Gove to fast-track plans to curb second homes

24 Oct 2023

Local MP Tim Farron has asked the Housing Secretary Michael Gove to urgently bring forward plans to stop family homes being turned into second homes and holiday lets in Cumbria.

Tim was speaking during a debate last night on the Government’s much-delayed Renters (Reform) Bill which contains plans to end Section 21 (No Fault) Evictions.

Tim said: “The delay has cost hundreds of families in my constituency their homes. Section 21 evictions have been carried out on so many families, as the sector has moved into the Airbnb short-term let market.

“Will the Secretary of State apologise to those families?

“Will he also very quickly bring in the change of use designations that I know he is considering, to ensure that short-term lets and also second homes are separate categories of planning use, so that we can protect our Lakes and Dales communities and ensure that they can survive?

In response, Michael Gove said: “As the honourable Gentleman knows, I have an enormous amount of respect for the work that he does in this area.

“I would draw a distinction between the response to the Select Committee’s report and the bringing forward of legislation, but he is absolutely right to draw attention to the fact that we need to consider - and we are - our responses to the consultations on registration and on changes to planning use requirements in the short-term let market. We hope to come forward shortly with our response to those consultations.

“I should also say that I had the opportunity last week to talk to the founder of Airbnb, and I outlined concerns very similar to those that the honourable gentleman has outlined.”