Yorkshire town plots to make outsiders pay double council tax as they lash out at 'bonkers' house prices
Campaigners have lashed out at "bonkers" house prices which are forcing locals out of the town and leaving it as a "theme park"
Angry locals in Whitby have won a vote in favour of preventing new properties becoming holiday lets or second homes.
Campaigners have said it highlights “bonkers” house prices which are forcing locals out of the town and leaving it as a “theme park”.
There are also proposals to double the amount of council tax owners of Airbnbs and holiday homes have to pay.
The poll, which took place on Monday, saw 93 percent of those taking part agree to restrict new development to “full time local occupation”.
Campaigners said on Thursday something needs to happen to prevent young people leaving the old fishing port and make it easier to attract teachers, doctors and other key workers who have been pushed out of the town.
A three-bedroom house in the heart of the tourist area, would have been £25,000 to £30,000 in the early 1990s but will now sell for in excess of £500,000, according to borough councillor Phil Trumper.
The average salary in the area for locals is £18,900.
Although the vote does not hold any legal weight, locals are hoping to take the issue to the local council in the hope that they will act on the overwhelming calls for change.
A study of council tax records in 2021 showed just under 20 percent of all homes in Whitby were either holiday lets or second homes.
Census information from 2001 showed the figure then was about eight percent.
Mr Trumper said: “It’s becoming a theme park, basically. And that’s something that we don’t want to happen.
“I think we’re at a tipping point.
“We’re losing a lot of the housing stock to holiday lets, which is driving up the prices of the properties, so it's becoming unaffordable for young people who were born here and live here and want to work here. They’re having to move out of the town.
“So we’re kind-of losing all those young people that we need to keep the town viable.”
The average house price in the Yorkshire and Humber Region in February 2022 was £199,939, according to the Land Registry.
Speaking to Michelle Dewberry on GB News, former Liberal Democrat adviser Rabina Khan said: “When you’re trying to ensure that people aren’t able to purchase a second home, you are going to be devaluing other homes around.
“There may be someone there who’s purchased a home and wants to sell their property which means they might not be able to in the future get a buyer. Unless they sell it on to someone else in Whitby.
“What this tells us is there are people taking a stand to protect their communities, to protect the young people… and also to make sure they protect the environment that they live in.”