St Agnes holiday home sprayed with graffiti condemning second homes

Furious residents daub graffiti on a Cornwall holiday home demanding, ‘Rent or sell your empty houses to local people at a fair price’ amid growing anger over increasing number of second homes

  • St Agnes property thought to be a second home vandalised with graffiti protesting lack of affordable houses
  • The spray painted words are the latest action against rising holiday homes in Cornish seaside villages
  • The vandalism has prompted a mixed response from villagers, with one calling it a ‘talking point’ 
  • Have you seen graffiti targeting second home owners? Email [email protected] 

Have you seen graffiti targeting second home owners?

Email [email protected] 

Holiday homes in a picturesque Cornish seaside village have been daubed with graffiti over growing resentment for wealthy holidaymakers buying up property.

At least one St Agnes property believed to be a holiday home has been vandalised, protesting at the lack of affordable homes in the area. 

The graffiti says: ‘Second home owners give something back: Rent or sell your empty houses to local people at a fair price.’

A neighbouring wall has also reads: ‘No more investment properties.’

Throughout Cornwall, tensions have grown amongst locals as sought-after coastal spots are being bought as second homes by people who live elsewhere.

As the number of affordable homes to rent or buy becomes fewer in Cornwall, the issue of second homes has become more prominent.

The latest graffiti has divided public opinion, with some villagers supportive and others believing it’s a criminal act that will not have an impact.

A property believed to be a holiday home in the seaside village of St Agnes, Cornwall, has been vandalised over frustrations with second-home owners in the area

The graffiti calls for no more investment properties in the tourist-heavy southwestern county. As the number of affordable homes to rent or buy becomes fewer in Cornwall, the issue is becoming more prominent

One said: ‘It’s a reasonable, and polite, request to be fair’.

Others said: ‘Vandalism is bred from desperation’ and ‘if that was my home, I’d never leave it. People have the wrong priorities in life. 

‘Every time we walk past this house and others all I think about is how sad it is that it sits there empty most of the year when so many people want to live here permanently and can’t find anything to buy or rent. 

‘Although vandalism won’t solve it, it is a talking point.’

Others disagreed with one saying: ‘I agree with the sentiment but this is vandalism and completely unnecessary.’

Similar comments said: ‘I know we’re all unhappy with second homes taking over the houses in the village but this is vandalism.’

‘The person responsible could get a criminal record for doing this — there are better ways to show your frustration.’

Another called the graffiti ‘disgusting behaviour’ and said they would be ‘devastated’ if it were their own house.

‘I understand there is a housing crisis and it’s heartbreaking but this is not the solution,’ they added.

Another said: ‘Maybe if the residents of the village supported the recent application for affordable housing rather than oppose it, then this wouldn’t even be a conversation.’

Others urged second home owners to ‘bring something to the area and not just take.

‘Get rid of the big stupid cars, get in the hedge and give way,’ they added. ‘Ain’t just you got to be somewhere’.

Some locals criticised those who sell to second home owner. 

One said: ‘These houses wouldn’t be affordable to most due to its location for rent or buy. But perhaps we should be concentrating on the local people selling land and homes to second home owners. The locals who own that house have done absolutely nothing wrong.’

Another said some villages see 80 per cent of houses empty in the winter, and said that some businesses struggle as a result.

A more urgent solution was also suggested.

‘Maybe let Ukrainian refugees live there,’ one person said. ‘The space isn’t being used, help people in need.’

Purchase prices in Redruth — the nearest large town St Agnes — during the last year were up 20 per cent on the previous year and up 25 per cent on the 2019 peak of £176,315.

Cornwall currently has more than 10,290 active Airbnb listings, but only 69 rental properties available for people to rent short term or long term on Rightmove.

Residents believe that higher property prices and increasing demand for Airbnbs in Cornwall are what’s responsible for the shortage of homes.

Another example of graffiti in Cornwall drawing attention to the issue of housing in the popular tourist destination. The painted message reads: ‘Expensive house prices in Mousehole’

Data from Cornwall Council shows where the county’s 13,500 second homes were distributed in 2018

In September last year, a row broke out in Cornwall after grants worth £100million to help businesses weather the Covid crisis went to second home-owners living outside the county.

The figure ignited tensions between ‘priced out’ locals and wealthy second home proprietors.  

At a Cornwall Council meeting in September, it was revealed that almost 62% of a total £170million business support claimed by second home-owners during the pandemic went to landlords living outside the county, The Times reported.

And in June last year, graffiti telling tourists to ‘go home’ was sprayed outside one of Cornwall’s biggest tourist attractions.

The message was daubed on the road leading up to the Minack Theatre, a popular outdoor theatre built into the granite cliffside in Porthcurno.

A photograph showed the words ‘tourists go home, no second homes’ a short distance from the theatre’s welcome sign. 

The message reading ‘tourists go home, no second homes’ was daubed on the road leading up to the Minack Theatre in Porthcurno, Cornwall

Earlier this month a section of the South West Coast Path near Looe was vandalised with hateful words towards visitors

Earlier that month a section of the South West Coast Path near Looe was vandalised with hateful words towards visitors – with ‘tourists go home, 2nd home owners also’ scratched into a gate.

The criminal damage divided commenters on social media, with some condemning the behaviour, whilst others called it ‘freedom of speech’.

In January last year, Padstow Town Council began looking at limiting the number of second home owners in the area. 

The coastal port in North Cornwall has high numbers of second homes, and may ask homebuyers to prove the new-build home they are attempting to purchase is their main address.

This could mean putting their children in local schools or registering to vote in the area, reported Cornwall Live.

Source: Read Full Article