SOUTH EAST Cornwall has some of the highest numbers of second homes in the county, statistics released from Cornwall Council have shown.
The figures reveal that the parish of St John, near Torpoint, has the second highest number of second homes in the duchy, with 140 of its 342 dwellings not permanently occupied.
Maker with Rame has been identified as another second home hotspot with 34.3 per cent of its dwellings listed as second homes.
Cornwall Councillor for Looe West and Lansallos, Edwina Hannaford, said high numbers of second homes can have a significant impact on the community.
"In coastal areas there's a hidden poverty in amongst the beautiful countryside and smiley people on holiday," she said.
"People are priced out of the housing market without the jobs to afford those higher levels."
Looe, a popular holiday destination, has a total of 336 second homes in the town, which amounts to 11.2 per cent of all houses.
"When we know that we have got so many people on the housing register crying out for homes something needs to be done," Mrs Hannaford said.
"It's quite immoral that there are homes empty apart from two or three weeks of the year," she added.
Cornwall councillor Andrew Wallis is leading calls to make planning permission compulsory before a house is turned into a second home.
Mr Wallis said: "You have to have permission to turn a house into one of multiple occupation, so it makes sense to make people seek planning permission before it is turned into a second home."
Next week he will put a motion before a full meeting of Cornwall Council which urges MPs to support national legislation.
"I'm not against second homes, but there has to be balance," the Porthleven councillor said.
In Callington, Liskeard, Saltash and Torpoint less than 1 per cent of all dwellings are categorised as second homes.
The figures show that Botus Fleming, near Saltash, is the parish with the fewest second homes in Cornwall, with just 1 out of 338 dwellings.