Thursday, December 08, 2005

Pensions "A" Day

After all the hype and indignation in the press and on this blog, about the ability of SIPP holders to put second homes in their pension; what now the Chanceller has U-turned and removed this potential tax break? Will house and flat prices callapse to the level local people can afford them, and nobody wants to build/convert any more? Or will it just mean there will be less second homes occupied by tourists, less jobs in service industries and a poorer community for that? Details of the changes at:
http://www.alliancetrusts.com/pdfs/pre_budget_factsheet.pdf

91 comments:

Anonymous said...

There was an article in the Times which suggested up to 5000 flats in London had been purchase "off plans" for use in Sipps after A day. So it must depress the market in buy to rent.

Anonymous said...

Nobody knows how many weeks a year the average second home is occupied for, or even how much it puts into the local economy. We do know that family's first homes are occupied for almost the entire year and that they spend a huge proportion of their income locally, use local schools and generally contribute to the vibrancy of the community.

What we need is a campaign to persuade high earning young self employed people to move here and base their businesses in Swanage That will produce far more input into the towns economy than second homes ever could.

Keith Roker

Anonymous said...

And they will get a really warm welcome like the guy who brought the zorbing? The guy who wanted to do parascending in the Bay? The guy who wanted a diving training tank in his garden?

Anonymous said...

All right then, a campaign for a positive attitude from the local authorities as well. If you can get the one you get the other. Whingeing about the council is shooting a sitting bird and no fun at all.

Can any contributer to this collumn give us a good reason why the wealthy should be given a 40% discount on second homes through the tax system when local people can't afford to buy their first home? I dont know of one.

Anonymous said...

Why is it OK for someone to spend their money on an expensive yacht or cars or jewellery or the stock market or whatever else they fancy — but buy a house and it's a big no-no? And if someone can't live in two places at once, why should they pay 100% cost in both places for services (rubbish collection, police, etc) if they can't use equally in both places? When they use their second home, they spend when they're there: they employ local tradesmen, they eat and shop locally and spend on local activities — otherwise why would they bother coming? If the place is rented out, other people get a roof over their heads. And of course, it's not just 'wealthy' people who may have a second home, in the sense that they have spare cash swilling around. Wouldn't you like your children to benefit if you could leave them your home on your death? Or is that unfair?

Anonymous said...

It is a positive disgrace already that Swanage has so many holiday homes. What chance do our own young people have when ousiders are prepared to pay inflated prices, pushing out youngsters out of the market.

I dont now how many holiday homes we have? some time ago I was reliably informed the count in the area was 2000. That is criminal in my view.
Yikes!

Anonymous said...

I think the previous poster has hit the nail on the head.Ithink the main problem here is envy,something that causes ---- loads of problems in this country,and how many of these groaners own property in france or wherever?.Speaking as a local resident and as a shopkeeper i can honestly say that 2nd home owners do bring more into the community but it isnt only measured in£ Sterling.
C Sansom

Anonymous said...

So what if young people can't afford to buy a home down here. Why the fixation on purchasing when there are great flats to rent at bargain prices.

Anonymous said...

"Can any contributer to this collumn give us a good reason why the wealthy should be given a 40% discount on second homes through the tax system"
Yes, they get 40% discount on anything else they put in their pension so why not houses? They would be buy to let, creating a better rental sector. Problem for local youngsters solved!

Keith Roker said...

Where are these bargain rented flats? All the people I know who rent their homes found it very hard to find anywhere they could afford.

Swanage does not seem to attract buy-to-let investors. We are talking about holiday homes. If they are rented out to locals its for a few months in the winter. Anyone wanting to rent year round has a terrible job finding anywhere.

Anonymous said...

The housing market is quite grotesquely overcapitalised. It costs about £60,000 to build a modest dwelling. They sell for £200,000 to £300,000 in Swanage. This is soley because there is too much money chasing a limited supply.

Adding to the amount of capital chasing housing would be crazy. With the planning policies in force it could not increase the supply.

You may think that more greenfield sites should be released for housing. You may even be happy at the prospect of your children and grandchildren inheriting a land which is built on continuously from Kent to Cornwall which would be the logical outcome.

We have to find a better way of allocating homes than rationing by price. This is a lesson which was forgotten when the "grab all you can" mentality came to prevail a generation ago but it is one we need to learn again

Anonymous said...

There are 878 properties claiming the second homes 10 per cent discount - or 50 per cent in 27 instances - in Swanage out of a total of 5,442 residential properties.
That's 16.13 per cent - or about one in six - of the local housing stock.
These figures do disguise to an extent the social impact of second homes - because these tend not to be spread evenly through the community, but heavily concentrated in a few spots.

Anonymous said...

When you read some of these postings, it soon becomes obvious that some of them are talking through their pockets, with little regard for our own young people.

As to cheap flats to let? Come off it....In your dreams!
There is knowhere reasonable to rent in Swamage, and that's if there were any. There is'nt.

Anonymous said...

You are correct when you say there are no cheap flats here to rent , our flat(1 b/room etc costs well over £800 a month inc.)in Germany we were paying around 150-200 a month including wheelie bins that worked supermarkets where after you go through the checkout you can take all the packaging off and they have to recycle it, and just a small community charge which was included in that rent.There are far fewer home owners than here, they are quite happy to live in a nice flat knowing that the landlord is not going to screw them out of every euro they earn plus with no mortgage to pay they have more of a disposable income. C Sansom

tony said...

My family have been regular visitors to Swanage since the 1950's and it seems to me that the town has prospered and there are more local home owners than ever. The availibility of homes to first time buyers is no worse in Swanage than the remainder of UK and is not the responsibility of second home owners who may well be part of the reason for the towns prosperity. You cannot ignore the fact that the land and redundant hotels are usually owned by locals and it is up to them who they sell to but usually it is the highest bidder but unlikely the first time buyer with limited means.

Anonymous said...

If you have the holiday homes stood empty for the best part of the year..they can hardly provide housing for our own youngsters.

To say that they are no more expensive than in other parts of the country is living in cloud cuckoo land....Come off it!

One thing is obvious, The holiday home folk bring nothing in to the town or area, being I am surrounded by then they bring everything with them,they certainly do not provide employment.

Anonymous said...

The poster at 10.39pm last night is obviously out to wind us all up.

I thought we had established that if nothing else holiday home owners pay Council tax, albeit at a reduced rate.

I thank you.

Mark

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid we had a second home here. We came down all summer holidays (seven weeks then), Christmas and Easter. We employed a cleaner, a gardener, had our windows cleaned and the house painted. The house was often used by other members of the family and friends too. We kept a boat here and used the chandlers and petrol station. We ate out or bought take-aways most evenings, spent long days on rented deck chairs and in the amusement arcades. We went to the cinema, played squash at Harrow House and spent hours playing crazy golf. We took gifts back to our friends in Manchester. We loved it. Sorry to be made aware we were of no economic benefit to Swanage, and that if we had our time again you would prefer us not to have had a second home here.

Anonymous said...

Big deal! What chandlers? That was a very well put together excuse, Some one cleaned the windows? Go on! fancy that...and the house was painted....Every year?

And you use hired deck chairs? good heavens, I bet that brought about a lot of employment.

I am sure our youngsters will be happy to know that they have nowhere to live.. because someone cleans your windows and you hired a deck chair....

Anonymous said...

Nobody has nowhere to live by choice.

Anonymous said...

I refer to my previous comment.

Thanks for making me smile Mr Anonymous (posting at 1.44pm today)

Mark

Anonymous said...

Point of information Mr Chairman. Its not really true to say Swanage is no worse than anywhere else for house buyers, first time or otherwise. The ratio between local incomes and house prices is one of the worst in the country.

There are still people here who imagine they should be entitled to live and work in the town they grew up in, close to their friends and relatives. Since politicians of a certain hue decided this was to become a nation of homeowners some decades ago they also imagine they should be able to buy here. Its a fantasy of course. Sooner or later they wake up screaming in a tidy estate of ticky-tacky boxes in Milton Keynes.

Anonymous said...

Swanage has a huge amount of social housing and any new build over 16 units has to incorporate 25% for a housing association. People move away to Milton Keynes to find work with the likes of IBM or the Open University, and perhaps because they want access to culture and a social life; NOT because they can't afford a stone cottage next to the Mill Pond. I know several people who rent in Swanage. For about £8000 a year they get a new built two bed flat with car space close to the Swanage town centre. The flat is worth about £250000; they are in effect renting at 3% of the value. Bargain. If a couple can't raise £150 rent a week for a few years while they save up a deposit then I think they are being a little selfish to expect the local housing market to be decimated so they can afford the house of their dreams from day one.

Anonymous said...

One posting to this thread asks, in terms of assumed innocence, why it should be OK to buy diamonds or yachts but not houses.

The answer is simple. The supply of housing is limited and increasing it at more than a trickle in attractive places like Swanage is impossible. The supply of yachts and jewellery is fairly easy to increase. There is no substitute for housing. There are many substitutes for yachts etc.

Having more money chasing a limited supply pushes up the price. This prices some out of the market.

These are the basic facts. They cannot be escaped. If there were purely a local market for property prices would be a great deal lower. This is why some places with the same problem are looking at having a dual market with property reserved for locals.

Those who seek to justify second home ownership in the face of the facts resort to a variety of justifications but however beneficial they might claim to be to the local economy the fact remains that first time buyers are forced to go miles away to areas that are less attractive to second home buyers. This is draining young families out of seaside towns, running down the school rolls and generally destroying communities.

What is said in favour of second homes? You should be able to do what you like with your money regardless of the consequences. Weak.

Anonymous said...

Again come off it...£150 a week. Where in Swanage does anyone earn the sort of money that would allow them to pay a rent of £150 PW.

With Council tax, food, and heating. On top. Surely anyone that can pay and save certainly does not work for Swanage wages.
I would love to know where???

That, while wishing to be polite, again is fantasy land, and shows little knowledge of Swanage

Anonymous said...

If you take a typical local couple say a hairdresser and someone in local light industry they will have a gross take home of about £650+.

Anonymous said...

If you really wanted to free up some housing stock you would ban holiday homes, all summer letting and stop people retiring here from outside the area. Property prices would plummet, and the economy would callapse like a mining town where the pit had just shut down.

Anonymous said...

That is 650£ a month presumably!

Anonymous said...

£650 a month that is £162 a week, That leaves £12 to pay for every thing......fantasy land!

Anonymous said...

Obviously I meant £650 a week. If they both do 40 hours each at the minimum wage thats over £400 a week. If they were a school teacher and a police constable they would be grossing close to £1k per week, before any overtime or or part time work.

Anonymous said...

Where in Swanage do you get any work at all? There are no vacancies for teachers here and certainly not for the police. The only work that could become available, is unskilled work. WE have no industry.....Noting..All this tale about £650 a week are pipe dreams....

In fact it is a dead end, a deprived area.

Anonymous said...

I agree Swanage is deprived. It's unlikely that we will attract any industry much, when competing with Poole and the like. So how about a huge service based economy with rest homes, health spas, speciality shopping, purpose built facilities for disabled holiday makers, cultural events and attractions and a marina.

Anonymous said...

Houses here start at £200,000. With a joint income of £30,000 and a mortgage of four times joint income that still leaves £80,000 to find. Not many Swanage folk have this amount in the piggy bank. Agreed professional couples with a combined income of £50,000 plus can manage it but what happens to everyone else, single people for example?

The fact is local jobs pay in Purbeck Pennies and not too many of them! The only area where employment is expanding is care and that is notoriously poorly paid.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that what most people are complaining about here is the effects of capitalism on a local area.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that what most people are complaining about here are the effects of the nanny state, and perhaps people need reminding that life is competitive both at an individual and national level.

Anonymous said...

Its a huge oversimplification to reduce all of this to capitalism, but then most of the contributors to this thread have oversimplified.

Arguably it is the planning system's constraints on capitalism which have created an artificial shortage and hence high prices. However, I am not arguing for scrapping them and turning the whole of southern England into an endless built up area.

What we are not good at is dealing with the contradiction between a free market system and the need to allocate a limited resource fairly.

Naturally enough those who have managed to get their hands on a decent slice of this resource say that the present arrangement is fine and for the best while those who have not are left to gnash their teeth in impotent fury. It is of course ironic that an overwhelming majority of the electorate here vote for candidates who are opposed to interfering in the market and then complain about the consequences.

Anonymous said...

Nanny State? What Nanny State?
That State is an illusion, it may have had some significance once, but no more.

Being in my eighties, for the life of me at no time have we seen a Nanny State..

The fact as recently posted here is correct...There is no employment here, and what little there is, is for all intents and purposes is at poverty rates.

Then I read about "being entitled to live in our own town" Well my family have been here certainly since the 1500s...So I think that I have a claim to speak out against holiday homes, and the needs of our local young people trying to make their way on desperately low wages.

If it was a few of these holiday places? but it is not, and they stand empty half the year or more, Those of you talking through your pockets cannot be doing that well from the empty holiday homes? Surely? No tenants no spending...

The local folk do not have a "God given right to live here" Nor does anyone else!! but we do have a damn sight better claim than those that come here to spoil, what generation after generation of local people have sustained under their stewardship.

Given a free hand the beautiful unspoiled countryside here would be covered in caravans and even more holiday homes. YUK!

Anonymous said...

Its fatuous to say there is a large amount of social housing in Swanage. Most of it was long since sold off. None has been built for general family use since the 1970s. Applicants need to be homeless and can reckon on a long stay in inferior temporary accommodation before they get housed.

Whats wrong with a nanny state if everybody gets their basic needs met. Its total tripe to wheel out these antique slogans about life being competitive. The social darwinists said precisely the same thing in the nineteenth century in protest at the meagre attempts being made to relieve poverty then.

Its as nonsensical now as it was then.

Anonymous said...

So what's the solution to what is really a nationwide problem? I'm sure a lot of people are making positive efforts to improve things but if you are please pass them on as presumably we could all help?

Whinging on a blog isn't going to change the world except very, very, very slowly.

Regards,

Mark

Anonymous said...

For many that come here to enjoy their retirement in our beautiful area. They may not realise that Swanage for many of its people is a poverty stricken place.

Genuine and very real hardship, with little hope of it ever improving, There is nothing on the horizon that brings any hope of an improved standard of living.

Ok if you come here to retire on a comfortable pension, long may you enjoy it! But for local youngsters there is now, nor has been, any chance of improvement....

Anonymous said...

PS I think the recent implication of the older gent from Swanage that all 2nd home owners and outsiders spoil Swanage is an exaggeration - some of us visitors love Swanage and want to see it prosper and improve. As I said, if you can tell us how we can help then we'll listen and do what we can.

Regards,

Mark

Anonymous said...

Wrong Mark..I never said that people that retire here spoil the place, far from it.

What I did say, is that by owning holiday homes here, the housing stock is hugely reduced. And those people that own two homes can afford to pay prices that are way out of the means of local young people

Anonymous said...

You guys don't remember when flat prices were so low some 25 years ago in Swanage that people were moaning about that all the northen unemployed were moving in.

Anonymous said...

Northern unemployed moving in? buying up flats? Where did that idea come from?
25 Years ago? 1980.....
Not that I can recall, its good for a a laugh I suppose.

Anonymous said...

This strikes a cord. Do you remember the "Costa del dole" business in the early 90s? A number of hoteliers in places like Bournemouth discovered they could fill up in the winter with unemployed young people from places like Liverpool. The snag was the summer visitors, likewise from "oop north" took exception to their hotels being haunted by exactly the sort of people they had gone on holiday to get away from. The result was questions in the house and legislation to limit the ability of claimants to get on their bikes and go to the seaside to sit out the recession. I dont think it had anything to do with the price of property but a lot to do with hoteliers being glad to fill their rooms with whoever they could find. The good burghers of Bournemouth etc were glad to ss the back of them as they seem to have thought unemployment was catching. Of course that was at a time when members of the government peddled the myth that we had several million on the dole because they had all decided they abstain from employment and it had nothing to do with there being no jobs available for them.

Anonymous said...

So who was the statement:

"The local folk do not have a "God given right to live here" Nor does anyone else!! but we do have a damn sight better claim than those that come here to spoil, what generation after generation of local people have sustained under their stewardship.

Given a free hand the beautiful unspoiled countryside here would be covered in caravans and even more holiday homes. YUK!"

aimed at?

Regards,

Mark

Anonymous said...

Nobody moves here to destroy the attractiveness that brought them here in the first place. Thats is clearly an absurd proposition. Many locals I regret to say are complete philistines and would happily cover everything from here to the county line with buildings if there was money to be made out of it. Incomers seem to think the place should be kept as it was the day they first saw it.

Who gave us the present shoe box shaped Mowlem? Who cheerily modernises old buildings out of existence? Who surrounded the town with estates of utterly boring and nondescript houses? Locals

nick storer said...

Who turned down the offer of a harbour wall in 1946? Who desecrated The Downs with a huge car park? Who was responsible for the disastrous attitude towards tourists calling them crockles? Locals. And what percentage of businesses in Town are run by locals, 5% perhaps?

Anonymous said...

I have never heard about a harbour wall in 1946. Can you tell us more.

Anonymous said...

The Canadian troops stationed here waiting for repatriation after the war offered to build it as they had nothing to do. SDUC said no thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thats very interesting. Any idea where it was proposed to put it exactly? Wonder what sudc were afraid of. A mighty fishing fleet taking the place over and driving out the genteel do you think?

nick storer said...

Much as I love Swanage, I consider myself a citizen of the E.U. and feel at home from France to Lithuania. Its a pity xenophobia is so rife here in Swanage. I understand the aggression between even Wareham and Swanage was great at one time. Roll on the united states of the world.

Anonymous said...

Its not that far before living memory that Swanage lads who strayed into Herston were likely to have stones thrown at them.

I'd settle for a united states of europe to be going on with.

Anonymous said...

So if the locals are making such a hash of looking after and running Swanage perhaps they should let the 2nd home owners run the place - after all as 2nd home owners are probably successful in business they could well make a better job of running Swanage thn the locals have!!!!

Before you all bust a blood vessel - that's what they call irony, well nearly anyway.

Anonymous said...

What I would remind everyone that has come to live in this "Our" delightful home is this, You are welcome, for this is "Gods own Country" But! In the old days we enjoyed a wonderful life without the holiday homes.

Before the holiday homes fiasco, we had Hotels here to cater for the holiday makers, Those Hotels provided employment.(badly paid but better than nothing)

Beside the local folk have one great advantage over those that have settled here; we are nuch better looking! Handsome indeed!

Anonymous said...

but illiterate!

Anonymous said...

Typos rule

K.O.

Anonymous said...

That's a nice posting. It will enhance the reputation of local folks, and make them much more welcoming to those that come to live here.

knowing that they think we are illiterate.

"God Bless you" and A Happy Christmas.

Anonymous said...

This town is not poverty stricken. It is however stuck in a rut. This doesn't mean it needs a massive Tesco's or a 4 million quid leisure centre. What it needs is people interested in the town such as those who blog here to get involved in the positive community projects that are either ongoing in the pipeline, whether it be youth projects, the arts, festivals, community events. A bit of positive marketing goes a long way to encourage people including business into town. Even the second homeowners can do there bit, it may even appease the locals and we can all live in peace.
Mr Royston Vasey

Anonymous said...

Ironical anonymous at 7.32pm suggested that, as the locals were making such a hash of Swanage, the 2nd home owners should run the place.
I thought they were already.
I was told that when the Purbeck councillors considered raising council tax on 2nd homes from 50 to 90% that it was the present mayor of Swanage who had to declare an interest and leave the meeting during that discussion/decision.
Isn't his business running some tourist attraction up in Wiltshire.

Anonymous said...

It seems sensible to me that holiday home owners should pay the full Council Tax. It is not possible to turn the Council service 'on and off' to suit the holiday makers, or weekenders. That service has to be available year round.

No council can guess when the services for any property in Swanage will be needed, and therefore have to provide a "Year round service" to all properties. be they inhabited or not.

It would not be practical to say
There will be no refuse collection at any given property. They must make a full collection service available to any household, occupied or not.

Thus, if that service is year round available, it must employ labour for that service.

Anonymous said...

Totally ridiculous, do the council keep on a team of beach wardens in the Winter just in case the sand is covered with second home owners etc sunning themselves in January?

tony said...

Several postings lead the reader to conclude there are local young people and possibly others who are homeless and living in a state of poverty. I have seen no evidence of this with the exception of the occasional Eastern European vendor of the Big Issue or seasonal visiting beggar. Where are these unfortunate people and what is being done locally to help them.

Keith Roker said...

Tony, I dont know what sort of evidence you think is needed. You seem to be looking at this on a very literal minded way. The universal report of people living in privately rented accommodation is that finding anywhere permanent in Swanage is extremely difficult. They are not recognisably marginalised oddments who you see selling The Big Issue, they are perfectly normal men and women with jobs to go to and children to rear.

According to the housing survey figures from PDC the district as a whole needs 183 new homes a year to keep up with demand from those already here. The number built is about half this with the majority being bought as second homes and for retirement. We know this is a nation wide problem but the combination of high property prices and a predominanc of low wage jobs make it a particular problem here, and one that is getting worse.

PDC seem to be inching towards a policy of only permitting new housing if it is both "affordable" and only for local people with a housing need or for those moving here for employment reasons. This would apply regardless of the type of tenure, like in the North Yorkshire National Park. It will be interesting to see how this plays with the developers.

If you want evidence of poverty take a look at the poverty map published by the county council and indices like the takeup rate for free school meals which is one of the highest in Dorset in Swanage South ward.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Keith for that sensible contribution. It is a fact that the property prices in Swanage are such, that the earnings level of the local wage give little hope of ever getting on the housing ladder.
Coupled with the fact that employment here of any kind, is very hard to find.

This is nothing new, we all know the jobs and housing in Swanage has always been a problem.

Anonymous said...

The figures for poverty in the various Dorset local authority districts are at http://www.dorsetforyou.com/index.jsp?articleid=345748

11.25% of the Purbeck population are poor enough to get housing/council tax benefit. Thats 5031 people.
19.25% of over 60s get these benefits, this being 2043 people.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the figures anonymous. very revealing, but as we know, there are a great many hovering on the edge, just managing to keep the "wolf" from the door. never managing to get on their feet and free of worry. How can they? The lack of jobs and the low wages count against that.

Anonymous said...

A few more depressing statistics.

The average house in Purbeck costs almost 9 times the average income in the District compared to a national ratio of 6.5 to 1.

Social housing fell from 20% of completions in 1997/8 to 5% by 2002/3. That amounted to just 7 housing units.

9% of housing is rented from social landlords, less than half the national average rate.

The proportion of second homes is 8 times the national average.

(Source: Purbeck District Local Development Scheme)

I am still puzzled by that reference to East European Big Issue vendors. All of the vendors I have bought copies from in Swanage have spoken without accents. All of the east europeans I have spoken to have had jobs and somewhere to stay. Many of them have professional qualifications but can earn more here in the most menial jobs than they can at home. Anon presumably welcomed the fall of communism in east europe and the subsequent freedom of the inhabitants to sell their labour wherever they can get the best price for it.

Anonymous said...

I am pleased to see these facts brought out into the open where they belong. Thank you for that. Again!

Though it is very plain to me that nothing here will change.

Anonymous said...

The position of PDC seems to be that they don't want anyone from outside the District to come and live here.

They make it clear they dont want commuters as they clog up the roads and the public transport is rubbish. They don't want people to retire here as they will have sold property in even dearer areas and can outbid the locals. They don't want to release greenfield sites for employment purposes so that tends to rule out people moving here to work.
And of course more people would generally spoil the place.

The only part of rural Purbeck identified as suitable for any large scale increase in employment usage is Wool/Winfrith.

Where does this leave Swanage? I suspect the contributor who says nothing is going to happen is right. PDC says the answer is to make other parts of the country more attractive so folk don't want to come here for the quality of life. They may even have said this seriously!

tony said...

Given that locals need at least 183 new dwellings a year and a large proportion should be "affordable" where in Swanage should they be built. I suspect there would considerable local resistence to large scale development especially estate type social housing.

Anonymous said...

Its not as bad as Tony thinks. The figure of 183 is for the whole District. Swanage has about a quarter of the total population, but a much lower proportion of the household forming age range so the number needed here is a lot less, 30 or 35 at a guess. I have not seen a figure for the number of completions in the town but the shortfall is bridgeable.

The real problem is that building for the market is simply building for incoming retirees and second home owners. If Swanage residents want a more balanced community they don't have much choice but to accept that this entails rented social housing, shared equity, a two tier market etc. This does not have to be large estates. 97% of the new housing in Purbeck is on brownfield sites. There is a growing tendency to demolish detached houses and replace them with flats or small terraces. This gives 4 to 6 dwellings where there was one before. There is no reason why affordable housing should not be provided this way, given the political will, and there are several hundred suitable properties here.

Anonymous said...

There are scores of foreign workers who come to Swanage each Summer. They seem to find work and somwhere to sleep without being subsidised by the other ratepayers.

Anonymous said...

In that case why not go the whole third world hog and have a shanty town on the old rubbish tip?

Anonymous said...

Is anon of 9.25am being post ironic or something? This thread started off as a discussion of whether the taxpayer should subsidise second home ownership through individual pension schemes. Now the notion of public money being used to help those who can't afford sky high prices for their first and only home is being sneered at.

The answer to the unspoken question is that of course public money should be used in this way. We have taxation in order to help reduce the inequality created by the market, whether it is the labour market or the house market. House prices have spiralled because the need to protect the environment limits the amount of land on which houses can be built and so creates an artificial shortage. Some people are doing well out of this situation and should put more back into the community. We need a hefty annual tax on second home capital value increases to be used to provide homes at less than market prices.

Anonymous said...

Like twice the Council tax? What an excellent idea.

Bring it on. and quickly.

Anonymous said...

Thank you anonymous 2.20pm for explaining that the housing shortage is not as bad as some other contributors seem to suggest.
However I find it difficult to accept that brownfield sites are the answer to offordable housing. Firstly they are generably expensive and planners are reluctant to allow high density resulting in a substantial land cost per unit. Secondly the planners insist on a high specification e.g. stone construction etc resulting in a high build cost. Thirdly there is increasing local concern that too many large houses have been demolished and replaced with flats e.g. Sea Court and it may prove difficult to gain planning approval. I was my understanding that the local need was for houses and not flats.

Anonymous said...

The figure for the percentage of developments that are on brownfield sites is quoted from PDC who think it is a good thing. As their over-riding concern at present is to protect as much of possible of Purbeck for future generations they are likely to resist greenfield proposals anywhere sensitive, which means aonb, ssi etc etc. This keys in with central government advice to keep developments close to transport interchanges and other facilities. I agree there is a preference for houses over flats and the only way to do this may be to pack in a small terrace where there was a detached house. It does not sound ideal but I suspect it is what will happen increasingly. The recommended density is several times higher than most of Swanage.

Council tax was not a clever idea. Like the poll tax it replaced it is regressive but after all it was invented by a government whose policy was to shift the burden of tax down the income scale and away from the better off. A local income tax would be a lot fairer.

Does anyone remember when the same government told us the benefits of cutting tax rates on high incomes would "trickle down" to the rest of us? I'm still waiting.

Anonymous said...

I am also still waiting. It seems to me no matter who or what governs us. The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. That relates back to the core of this subject.

Housing for our own people

One thing is certain...No one really wants to live in these horrible big brown boxes that scar the face of Swanage, and go under the name of "Flats"

What a pity that the Southern half of Swanage is unusable.

Anonymous said...

Since these blocks of flats were mostly built for the second home market its not surprising most people dont think they are suitable as permanent homes. We certainly don't need any more Moulham Courts!

Its depressing that after all the debate over government spending we have had over the last 30 years anyone still imagines capital spending is financed from taxation. Governments borrow just like the rest of us. Unlike private companies they dont go bust. Perhaps if they offered a safe haven for some of the money which goes into second homes there would be less of a problem.

Actaully the gap between rich and poor started getting bigger instead of smaller about 30 years ago when unemployment rose from the very low levels it had been kept at in the 1950s and 60s when memories of the 1930s were fresh. Since then most of the increase in spending power has been swept up by the best off third of the population.

Anonymous said...

The second home owners and their defenders in this thread all seem to have lost sight of what makes this area so special. It is the combination of the landscape and the people who have shaped it. If we want Purbeck to remain a beautiful and inviting place to live then we need to nurture both. Allowing a skewed market to drive out local young families will result in a sterile "theme park", devoid of character and empty of the life blood which sustains it. Do they want us all to live in Poole and be shuttled in to service their holiday/retirement village? Probably they do. After all we are the untidy, unsightly yokels with noisy children and unruly teenagers. If they could rid Swanage of us then their Council Tax could be reduced, their holiday rambles unspoiled by smelly quarry lorries and crawling tractors. Their political hegemony would remain unchallenged by upstart oiks. All the schools could be closed (except for Malthouse of course) and just think of all the property that would be available for even more of their friends to spend three lovely weekends a year in. We, the people of Purbeck, (all of us) deserve a stake in our future.
I'm not advocating an unchanging, time capsule Swanage. Change has shaped Swanage and Purbeck from the earliest stone-age hunter-gatherers, altering its landscape and character inexorably. Along side that process of change however, has been a continuity that we are really in danger of losing within a generation. Today I read a report of the falling school rolls in Purbeck. If this continues at the current rate then, in a very few years, there will be no one left warrant the services on which the majority of us rely. All the drivel about "nanny state", "ratepayers subsidising the poor", "envious locals" and so on, disguises the fact that second home ownership on the present scale (let alone on an increased scale) destroys communities. Retirement apartments and caravan parks and holiday cottages are not a community. The question is then, do we want a community?
Peverilpen

Anonymous said...

What a pleasure to read a sensible and thoughtful posting. Please! that we could have more with the insight of what really makes the Purbeck Isle so attractive.
It is we, local people, that shaped this place for what it is
Thank you for that posting

Anonymous said...

Peverilpen has hit the nail on the head. The report in the Advertiser this week of school rolls having fallen by 22% is alarming. 15 years ago Swanage schools were bursting at the seams. At this rate there won't be any families with kids left here in 50 years time. Kingston supported a school with upwards of 100 pupils at one time, nowadays a couple of buses scoop up a handful of children each morning. How long before this happens to Swanage? But then who wants kids? They grow into surly, hoody wearing teenagers and look scarey and we don't want that kind of thing here do we.

Anonymous said...

Peverilpen, don't forget that 2nd home owners are also responsible for the Swanage of today, both the good bits and the bad. Please don't tar them all with the same brush it's a little unfair.

Mark

Anonymous said...

Second homeowners have not pushed out younger families at all. Many local families thank the incomers and have chosen to cash in their homes at a profit and moved on to places where there is industry, culture and higher education. You can't have it both ways. If you insist Swanage remains a seaside curiosity, then you can imagine that youngsters will run a mile.

Anonymous said...

One thing is for sure. Swanage was a much better place before the advent of the "Holiday Home"

Those folk that come here know little about the town as it was long before they bought up property.
Swanage was a delight, although it still is, nevertheless, it is a pale copy of what it used to be like.

What ever makes the person that lives in a holiday home think that they contribute to Swanage life or society? That, it seems to me, is complete arrogance.

The fact remains, that for our own youngsters, buying property here is way outside their means.

Anonymous said...

Hark back as much as you like, but it remains really despairing to see a Town with such potential run by luddites, and idiots.

Anonymous said...

That sort of comment really speaks for itself! and reveals the true nature of the subscriber. Luddites and idiots? Is that how we are seen?

Let me repeat; Swanage although still a delightful place,is not the place it was when we had hotels, instead of the seldom inhabited holiday homes.

Homes that are left empty with a look of desolation for the best part of the year. far better a thriving community of real people.

Again we see the same arrogance. Local folk are luddites and idiots.

I am not going to accuse anyone of being an idiot, or a luddite, though the term spoiler and carpetbagger comes to mind.

nick storer said...

So how should Swanage proceed? Do we really have any influence or must we just wait for economic or climatic cycles to change?
I think I'll start a new post at this point, something more positive, perhaps, for the New Year.

Anonymous said...

"Run by Luddites and idiots" indeed, Swanage is run by the District Council, a body with a tory majority which has decided that the property market works so much against the interests of the electors that they are looking for ways of ensuring that all new housing, whether privately built or not, is only to go to those with a genuine need for a home.

For a group of people with a deeply held belief in the sanctity of the market to reach this conclusion clearly demonstrates how serious the situation has become.

None of the defenders of second home ownership have put forward anything to suggest that having an ever-increasing proportion of homes empty for most of the year benefits the rest of us. We have been treated to a lot of eyewash along the lines that change is automatically for the better. Tosh and drivel. Its to the advantage of some at the cost of others as has been amply demonstrated in this thread.

Tony said...

On a positive note it is the experience of my family that Swanage has prospered considerably in the last 50 years. It is not paradise but for many it is the next best thing. The town is full of character, the people are friendly and the list of things to do is endless.
Some may decry the replacement of hotels with self catering or holiday homes but this is the inevitable result of peoples changing choice of holiday accommodation. The fact is many hotels were uneconomical to run and were frequently empty for many months of the year unlike self catering and holiday homes which are frequently in use. This use is bound to increase as the town grows as a tourist attraction.
Clearly prosperity has not reached everyone and there is much to be done to achieve this.