Chalet owners hit back at council tax hike in West Cumbria

  • Watch as Ryan Dollard visits Allonby to speak to chalet owners about council tax increases.

Chalet owners in West Cumbria have hit back at a decision to increase their council tax to 200% from 50% in plans to curb second home owners.

The UK government made a decision for a council tax hike which came into affect for second home owners and holiday lets in an attempt to free more homes for local families.

Council's in many tourism hotspots across the country have doubled the tax on what they classify as secondary residences. The move is designed to see fewer properties left vacant.

Chalet owners in Allonby feel as though they will be taxed out of having their holiday homes.

Chalet owner Christina Timney believes the decision could spell disaster for places such as Allonby.

She said: "Previously we have had 50% discount on our council tax and in February we all received letters stating that we were going to have to pay 100% tax for our cabins here plus our council tax on our own homes.

"In 2024 [council tax increase] we will have an increase again. It will leave abandoned places and derelict properties.”

Anne Wilkinson has seen the chalet that they own in West Cumbria in her family since the 1960s. She is confused as to why her larger home in Cockermouth warrants less council tax than her holiday home.

She said: "It has been in the family for 56 years. I have had my great grandchildren here visiting me from Kendal. I find that the tax here is more than my home in Cockermouth. I can’t understand that.”

Shirley Morch believes the chalet's are not preventing people from living there. Credit: ITV Border

Shirley Morch is a chalet owner but fully aware of the problems second home owners cause for aspiring families looking to get on the property ladder.

She believes that the chalet's in Allonby are different as they are not preventing people from living in them.

She said: “I live in Kirkby Lonsdale and I really understand the problems second home owners have in pushing up the prices for locals and driving young families out of the region.

"That is not the case here. We are not depriving any local families of a permanent home. They are just extended beach huts."

In a statement Cumberland Council said: "We appreciate the change has caused concern for a small number of property owners in Allonby, and have offered to meet them to discuss the issue and see what advice we can give, within the framework of the law."

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