MP fighting to stop holiday lets turning the Lake District into a ghost town

People relax and enjoy the view over Keswick in the Lake District. Credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Archive/PA Images

An MP is leading the fight to stop holiday lets and second homes turning the Lakes into ghost towns.

Tim Farron, the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, is especially concerned that landlords are evicting tenants to replace them with holidaymakers - calling it a 'Lakeland clearance.'

He said: "The increasing proportion of homes in the second-home or holiday-let market means no permanent population. No permanent population means no kids at the local school, so the school closes. It means the loss of the post office, the pub and bus services.

"We end up with beautiful places that are empty."

Tim Farron is the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale Credit: ITV News

The MP added: "We are seeing this happen more and more often and many people are calling it the 'Lakeland clearances'.

"The really important thing I want the Government to do is to change planning law. It needs to ensure that holiday lets and second homes are distinct categories of planning use so that local authorities can say that there are enough homes of that sort in the community and, therefore, protect it."

South Lakeland District Council has been looking at the way second homes are taxed at a local level.

A spokesman from SLDC said: "Currently there is no council tax discount on second homes. There is 100 per cent council tax on properties left unoccupied for more than six months and a 50 per cent council tax premium on properties left empty for more than two years."

According to the online property site Zoopla, the average price for property in Kendal stood at £296,198 in June 2021.

Flats in Kendal go for an average of £195,233 and terraced houses for £236,988 on average.