From: Sue Shackleton, Whyllsym, Gunnerside.
I HAVE read your articles in horror about the second home tax rise of 500 per cent proposed by the Yorkshire Dales National Parks Authority. If it goes ahead, it will increase the tax on my vary small cottage to about £7,500 per year, which I definitely cannot afford to pay. So the YDNPA will achieve their first aim to evict me and others like me from their homes – but what will be the actual outcome of these evictions be?
I will have a few options to myself. The first is to continue down the line of the YDNPA plan and my little cottage will come up for sale or to let. But it is very unlikely to be bought by a permanent family for the following reasons. The property is to small and impractical to become a family home or even a home for a couple, it is also located where there is very limited mobile phone signal, there is no workplace or shops near by and a take-away is just a pipe dream.
So if the cottage is not bought by a permanent resident and I cannot afford to keep it as my home, which I use every weekend and all my holidays, what other option I have other than to either sell it so that it becomes a holiday let or try to run it a holiday let myself? What will this achieve? Well the larger holiday let companies will just rub their hands and snap up the properties as they get put on the market by desperate owners and reduce the general letting rate in the area as there will now be too many holiday homes for the Dale to support.
This will have some very serious and detrimental effects to the very rural areas, a large number of the farmers and other people who are permanent residents in the area use the holiday let business to supplement their income, which is allowing them to be able to afford to stay in the Dale.
The community and the economy of the local rural areas will suffer because they will drive us out of the villages where we live and use our properties all year round, supporting local events and activities, using the local shop and pubs and businesses, and replace us with mainly empty holiday lets with people who have no interaction with the community and mainly only come in the summer.
So what, at face value, seems a quick fix to the decline in both the rural communicates and economy of the local area could actually have far reaching consequences resulting in a few very rich people getting much richer by buying up cheap properties and permanent residents unable to make life in the Dales sustainable.