Time for action on Whitby second homes and Airbnb issue - Andrew Vine

6/28/2022 11:00:00 PM

🗣 'It’s because the populations of these villages have shrunk to a fraction of what they once were as second-home ownership has hollowed them out'

🗣 'It’s because the populations of these villages have shrunk to a fraction of what they once were as second-home ownership has hollowed them out'

IT’S an eerie feeling to walk through a village that feels utterly deserted, like stepping onto an empty film set before cast and crew arrive to bring it to life.

This is not because the adults were all out at work and the children at school.Inexorably, the character of these places is being worn away by the march of second homes. People born there are squeezed out by visitors with deeper pockets who have little stake in the community and only the most transient connections to their history and heritage.

. Though the poll has no legal force, it was an immensely valuable exercise in local democracy in which the town expressed its unease and spoke both eloquently and admirably of the importance of true community spirit.Moors and the Dales, market towns are being drained of young families who should be the lifeblood of their futures because they cannot afford properties that are being snapped up at inflated prices as second homes.

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Passing through Staithes and Runswick Bay, there was hardly a soul to be seen.A large crowd gathered at the gates in south-west London more than two hours before opening time at 10am.June 26, 2022 All appeared not to be lost, however, as the organiser of another protest, planned for later this year was present and handing out business cards.Vladimir Putin is set to venture out of Russia for the first time since he ordered Russian troops into Ukraine and managed to avoid an assassination attempt on his life.

The people of Whitby recently voted overwhelmingly in favour of restricting holiday lets and second homes to preserve their community. Nobody out and about and no sign of life in the houses, many with their curtains closed on a bright afternoon. Some 42,000 people are expected at the world's oldest tennis tournament each day for the next two weeks as it returns at full capacity for the first time in three years. This is not because the adults were all out at work and the children at school. Keith questioned if people were enjoying the sun instead. It’s because the populations of these villages have shrunk to a fraction of what they once were as second-home ownership has hollowed them out until they are all but empty of people outside weekends and the school holidays. Picture: Alamy The morning playoffs will see men's home favourite Cameron Norrie face veteran Spaniard Pablo Andujar, while British women's number three Heather Watson will compete against Germany's Tamara Korpatsch. It is sad and depressing to see them like this, but they are far from the only examples on our coastline. In Dushanbe, Putin will meet Tajik President Imomali Rakhmon, a close Russian ally and the longest-serving ruler of a former Soviet state.

A little farther south, in Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay, there are streets which stand silent and empty for long stretches of the year. Roger Federer superfan Danilo Criscuolo flew from Napoli in Italy and camped for three nights to make the front of Wimbledon's famous queue for Tuesday tickets. | Image: RSM Photography Keith said his organisation was “not party political”. Inexorably, the character of these places is being worn away by the march of second homes. People born there are squeezed out by visitors with deeper pockets who have little stake in the community and only the most transient connections to their history and heritage. Picture: Alamy The 30-year-old, a car rental administrator, said: "It was a very long trip because we were two hours delayed from the start, and there was another two hours of delay for the luggage. The people of Whitby recognised this when they voted so overwhelmingly to ban further second-home ownership . He has been trying to get support from a number of different unions and organisations. Though the poll has no legal force, it was an immensely valuable exercise in local democracy in which the town expressed its unease and spoke both eloquently and admirably of the importance of true community spirit." Baring a tattoo of Federer on his calf, he joked: "I have a portrait here of Roger Federer but I don't have a portrait of my wife - he is more important than my wife. Kyrylo Budanov has claimed Putin was attacked in the Caucasus in an assassination plot, which has remained hidden under wraps since it happened.

Our coast is not alone in having that spirit undermined by those who see communities not as places to belong, but only as boltholes from busy working weeks in Leeds or Sheffield. In the Moors and the Dales, market towns are being drained of young families who should be the lifeblood of their futures because they cannot afford properties that are being snapped up at inflated prices as second homes.. | Image: Daniel Jaines The controversial ‘Thatchue’ has divided the town since it was unveiled in May and has been the target of repeated vandalism. And in York, MP Rachael Maskell is pressing for the licensing of Airbnb properties because so many have become noisy party venues spoiling the lives of nearby residents. Thankfully, in Yorkshire we haven’t yet reached the crisis point of Cornwall where there are NHS staff living in caravans because so few properties remain available to rent or buy due to Airbnb lets, but it is surely only a matter of time before something similar starts happening. The people of Whitby and all the other places so uneasy about the hollowing-out of their communities deserve to get their wish, for the sake of all the people trying to get a foot on the property ladder in places they love and belong, and also for the sake of the future. It has since been been splashed by paint at least one further time on record – this time in ‘patriotic’ red, white and blue paint." Keep up to date with all the latest news stories.

Schools, community centres and shops face closure if permanent populations are gradually excluded and villages with once-distinctive identities and traditions are effectively reduced to nothing more than holiday camps. Turning the tide against this less-than-benign invasion won’t be easy, but Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove’s attempts to make a start ought to be applauded by anybody worried about what is happening to so many places in Yorkshire and beyond. His proposals to give elected mayors powers to ban owners of second homes from letting them on sites such as Airbnb are overdue. | Photo: Daniel Jaines Only a few people turned out for the protest, but not the organisers themselves. They are driving legitimate bed and breakfasts and hotels, which pay business rates and are part of their local communities, out of business. Given the strength of feeling about this on the coast, the proposed new mayor for York and North Yorkshire would be likely to find this at the top of their agenda.

But Mr Gove should go farther. Local authorities will soon have the power to double council tax on unoccupied properties, but in Wales, the devolved administration plans to quadruple it, a move worth adopting nationwide if the country is serious about safeguarding communities and giving young people a chance of having a place of their own. Changes to the planning laws are also needed, to make it far less attractive for Airbnb owners to turn a fast – and largely tax-free – few quid out of letting their second homes. They are getting away with running businesses that are not subject to any regulation. Instead, they should be required to gain planning permission for a change of use, which would also make it easier for tax authorities to track down earnings from them.

This is about saving some of the most attractive places in Yorkshire from becoming ghost towns and villages, giving them a chance to remain what they should be – strong communities with a sense of identity, where people can build lives and bring up families. .