ECONOMY
Owners in Southwold dodging council tax will lose bin collections

Second-home owners in Southwold who are dodging council tax by claiming their properties are holiday lets will lose weekly bin collections and won’t be able to buy parking permits.

Councillors voted to withdraw services from the part-time residents.

A loophole allows wealthy owners of second-homes in the Suffolk seaside town to claim their property is a holiday let and so avoid paying any council tax.

But now East Suffolk Council has decided to get tough and said not only will they lose weekly bin collections but they won’t be able to buy a residents’ parking permit either.

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They may also face spot checks on food standards and fire inspections.

Councillor David Beavan, who has led the campaign against the ‘rates cheats’ said: ‘This is not about us and them, it’s about decency and fairness.

‘It’s tough enough for local people as it is to live or buy a home here. The smallest end-of-terrace cottage now sells for £500,000.

‘Second-home owners register as a holiday let business but make no effort to let the property. 

‘It means real locals are effectively subsidising these fraudsters with two homes.’

It comes just months after it was reported ministers were reported to be preparing a triple clampdown on second homes amid warnings that they are squeezing the life out of holiday hotspots.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick is planning a range of reforms that will give councils powers to ban the creation of new second homes if they are deemed to be damaging to the local community.

They would be able to impose such bans without having to first hold and win a local referendum on the issue.

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Councils will also get new rights to insist developers build more starter homes, instead of focusing on properties likely to be attractive to ‘incomers’ seeking a holiday home.

And ministers are considering changing the rules to require owners of a second property to get planning permission before renting it out as a holiday let.

The moves, which will be included in planning legislation this autumn, are designed to provide respite to communities in areas such as Cornwall, the Lake District and the Cotswolds which have high concentrations of second homes.

Source: Dailymail.co.uk

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