Letter: Countryside in peril

Sir: Some, like Henry Harington (letter, 30 May), may have reasons for keeping a second home which they visit from time to time, but in his objections to taxing of second homes he misses the point: first homes must take priority over second homes.

To accuse South Lakeland District Council of Nimbyism is also wide of the mark - we have gone to great lengths (and expense) to overcome the Nimbys in order to provide affordable housing for local people. As councillors here can tell you the problem is not so much residents' opposing planning permission. It is the people with second homes who are quick to object to affordable housing for locals.

Their letters come from all parts of the county, indeed the world, and sometimes betray contempt for the people who want to continue to live in their own communities. Typical was this gem: "My house is empty for most of the year.The type of person who wants to live in such [affordable] housing would be likely to vandalise or burgle my property."

The attempt to make second-home owners pay for the harm they do is not a case of Nimbyism but it should mean that there are fewer Nimobys (not in my other back yard).

STAN COLLINS

Chair, Finance and General Purposes, South Lakeland District Council

Kendal, Cumbria

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