A motion to declare a 'housing emergency' in Falmouth is being put to town councillors when they meet on Monday.

It is being brought before members by councillors Jayne Kirkham and Dean Evans, and will ask the town council to call upon both Cornwall Council and the government to put into action a number of points relating to second homes, planning regulations and council homes.

Explaining the reason for the motion Ms Kirkham said: "The situation in Falmouth is so dire that we felt it was important for the town council to recognise that and call for action."

Last month Ms Kirkham, who is also a Cornwall councillor for Falmouth, seconded a housing emergency motion made by Councillor Colin Martin at County Hall, but the matter was not debated after Cornwall Council chairman Pauline Giles decided it should be referred to the Cabinet for discussion.


Instead, Ms Kirkham and fellow town councillor Mr Evans are bringing the following motion to Falmouth Town Council when the full council meets on Monday, which is open for the public to attend. The motion reads:

"This council recognises that a housing emergency exists in Falmouth and calls upon the government to:

1. Finally end the loophole that permits owners of second homes and holiday lets to avoid paying both council tax and business rates;

2. Allow Cornwall Council to charge a levy for second homes and holiday lets in Cornwall and ringfence the money for the provision of social/council housing in Cornwall;

3. End the right to buy scheme;

4. Change the planning regulations to require a change of use application for properties to be used as second homes and holiday lets rather than residential use;

5. Introduce regulation of properties used for holiday lets which permits local authorities to set limits on percentage of properties available for let;

6. Introduce safeguards for renters so they cannot be evicted at only two months notice for no good reason and ensure they are offered secure and humane tenancy agreements.

"And calls upon Cornwall Council to:

1. Enforce covenants on ex council houses that prohibit the use of the property for anything other than the residential use of local people that they were designed and built for with public money.

2. Change the definition of affordable, so that local people on their local wages can live in security in Cornwall.

3. Prioritise the urgent provision of council housing in Falmouth."


Ms Kirkham said that figures accurate to July 19 this year showed that there were 18 homeless households placed in Falmouth at that time and 25 currently homeless households whose area of preference for rehousing was Falmouth (17 one-bed, four two-bed, two three-bed and two four-bed needs).

In addition, there were 619 households on the Homechoice housing waiting list who have a verified local connection to Falmouth and are waiting for accommodation, including 142 households aged 55 and over (118 for one-bed and 24 for two-bed).

"That indicates a significant need for housing designed to meet the needs of older people in Falmouth," said Ms Kirkham.

There are also 95 households registered with Help to Buy South looking for affordable homeownership in Falmouth.

New private rental listings in the TR11 postcode on Rightmove were down 20% in July 2021 compared with July 2020, with only 36 properties listed in the TR11 postcode in July. Meanwhile the average asking price for rent was up 36% for July 2021 compared to July 2020.

Ms Kirkham added: "Despite all those housing estates that are being built in the vicinity of the town, only 181 houses are planned to be affordable. Of those, 30% will be for sale so about 126 should be available for rent, when they are built."