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Second homes, retirement homes and holiday lets in the South West

  • by JW

Exmouth at “saturation point” [WMN]


The summer months always seem to be a time when the housing crisis in the South West gets even worse – as reported in today’s Western Morning News newsletter, with links to two excellent pieces exploring the issues:

The Westcountry is the best place to be in any weather, but in the lush June sunshine we’ve had recently it’s nothing short of a paradise – and of course that isn’t lost on visitors who flood here in their droves in the summer months. Tourism is a linchpin of our economy and Devon and Cornwall’s about the most welcoming place you could visit – but that doesn’t mean it comes without its problems. We’re reporting tonight from two seaside towns at opposite ends of the region to discover what’s not in the travel brochures. Lee Trewhela finds Mousehole so overtaken by Airbnbs and second homes that locals are having to leave just to get hold of household staples. Meanwhile, Lee’s Devon-based colleauge Ollie Heptinstall takes a look at Exmouth, a seaside town described as being at “saturation point” for other reasons: there are so many retirement homes younger people have nowhere to live.

Mousehole is so overtaken by tourism that locals have to leave to buy basic needs – Cornwall Live and Devon seaside town at ‘saturation point with too many retirement homes’ – Devon Live

Exmouth – Churchill Retirement Living and Plans for retirement apartments in Exmouth rejected by EDDC | Exmouth Journal


Airbnb in the West Country has been an ongoing problem: AirBnb and homelessness in the South-West – Vision Group for Sidmouth and Sidmouth, housing to rent and AirBnB – Vision Group for Sidmouth

It’s not getting any better – but perhaps visitors can actually help: Welcome to Cornwall! Please don’t ruin it for us local people | Natasha Carthew | The Guardian and Cornwall is being ruined by second homes and Airbnbs – here’s how holidaymakers can help

And the government is looking at how it might help: Airbnb hosts will need planning permission to turn properties into short-term lets | Daily Mail Online


Meanwhile, the housing that is being proposed for ‘locals’ is of the retirement sort: East Devon “will have one of the highest ratios of retirement-age residents in England” – Vision Group for Sidmouth and Knowle: a failure of promises on affordable housing – Vision Group for Sidmouth

And, again, there is no let-up: Controversial Exeter new homes plan for Deaf Academy site approved – Devon Live and Plans for care home, over-55s homes and care unit on site of former Redruth hospital – Cornwall Live

To what extent is Exmouth’s neighbour Sidmouth also at ‘saturation point’ when it comes to second homes, retirement homes and holiday lets?