The number of second homes in Helston, Porthleven, The Lizard and the surrounding villages has been laid bare in statistics from Cornwall Council.

The figures have been compiled by Cornwall Councillor Andrew Wallis as part of a push to make gaining planning permission a part of changing a home into a second home.

The figures show only second homes, not holiday lets, student homes, or those empty or |undergoing renovation.

Helston has just 46 holiday homes, 0.9 per cent of the 4,900 houses in the parish. However nearby Porthleven has 151 holiday homes, 8.9 per cent of the 1,693 homes in the port.

In Manaccan, 26.3 per cent, 57 out of 217, of homes are taken as |holiday homes.

In Mullion, the 87 holiday homes make up 8.3 per cent of its 1,054 homes, while in St Martin in Meneage, eight per cent of homes, 13 out of 163, are holiday homes.

In Wendron, 20 out of 1,157 homes, totalling 1.7 per cent, are holiday homes.

The highest percentage of holiday homes in Cornwall is found in St Minver Lowlands, covering Pityme, Rock, Trebetherick and part of Polzeath in North Cornwall, with 42.9 per cent of the 1,182 homes.

The lowest level is found in Tremaine and Werrington parishes near Launceston, which have no recorded second homes, alongside Camborne and Redruth, Callington and Carn Brae which all have less than one per cent.

There are a total of 14,446 second homes in Cornwall, 5.5 per cent of the total housing stock of 260,077. The number classified as empty is 6,247, 2.4 per cent of the total.

Cllr Wallis, said: “It would be easy and simplistic just to look at the number of homes and the number of people on the housing register and that would solve Cornwall’s housing problems, like some have suggested.

“But that would be wrong, as second homes do contribute to the Cornish economy. However, like I have said before, there is a fine line of contributing, or having a negative impact on the local community and economy.

“What I believe must happen, is primary legislation being made that to turn a dwelling into a second home, or holiday let, it would require planning permission for a change of use. Like you would need to change a dwelling into a shop or vice-versa.

“That way they can be monitored, and with the right policy, stop these types of dwellings having a negative impact on local communities.”