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Derek Thomas and fellow Cornish MP Cheryl Mackrory have met tourism minister Nigel Huddlestone to discuss the adverse impact of holiday lets on Cornwall.

St Ives accommodation

The government has agreed to launch an open call for evidence on the effect of the recent increase in short-term holiday lets. This market has boomed in recent years, especially since Airbnb came on the scene.

These holiday lets are concentrated in tourist hotspots, such as St Ives. They have put additional pressure on the housing market by reducing the supply of homes available for long-term rent or purchase, thereby raising prices.

The effect on the communities is profound: the fewer permanent residents there are, the less viable local services such as schools, pubs, GP practices, post offices, and bus routes are.

Residents in towns with high numbers of holiday lets have raised concerns about anti-social behaviour, including noise, waste, and drunken behaviour.

In 2018, Derek secured an adjournment debate on the difficulties that second home ownership and the holiday let industry place on families who need affordable homes. He says he has continued to raise the matter with ministers in Parliament.

The call for evidence will allow the government to gather evidence and data to inform any future steps. It wants to hear the views of all parties, including hosts, online platforms, accommodation businesses, and local authorities.

Nigel Huddleston said: “We want to reap the benefits of the boom in short-term holiday lets while protecting community interests.

“While no decisions have been taken, this review will help us work out the options to look at so we can protect our much-loved communities and thriving holiday industry.”

Find out more about the consultation here.