NORTH Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson has renewed his calls for local people to be given more powers over the number of second homes in their area after it was revealed that some communities in the constituency have the highest rate of second home ownership in the county.
Figures from Cornwall Council Community Intelligence show that of the ten parishes with the highest percentage of second homes, six are in North Cornwall.
St Minver Lowlands topped the league with 42.9 per cent of residential properties being second homes. St Minver Highlands parish had slightly fewer, at 37.9 per cent.
Padstow has a second home rate of 29.3 per cent while neighbouring St Merryn had 38.4 per cent and St Endellion (34.9 per cent) also came in the top ten.
Twenty per cent of dwellings in Boscastle and Poundstock are second homes.
Mr Rogerson, a Liberal Democrat, said: "Whilst it's important that we continue to promote our tourist industry, it cannot be right that areas such as Padstow, Port Isaac and St Minver have such a high concentration of second homes.
"Such a high rate stops local people being able to afford to live in their own community, and has a massive impact on local services such as schools, shops and bus routes."
Cornwall councillors are to discuss the situation, with some suggesting people should be required to obtain planning permission if they want to turn a property into a second home.
Regarding that proposal, Mr Rogerson said: "I would welcome the support of councillors for giving local people powers through the planning system to say no to more second homes if they feel that their area has reached saturation point.
"In March 2010 I tried to introduce a new law to give local councils the power to control the number of second homes in their area. I also tried to amend the Planning Act in 2008 to make sure that if somebody wanted to turn a permanent home into a second home they would have to get planning permission first.
"I will continue to stand up for the communities I represent and will be taking these new figures to the Government to argue for greater powers to be given to local people to control the number of second homes in their area," he said.