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‘It’s a glorified holiday camp’: St Ives fights losing battle over second homes

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“Holiday let, holiday let, holiday let,” says Leo Walker ruefully, as he leads the way through the historic fishing quarter of St Ives in Cornwall, pointing to successive properties.As the afternoon sunshine breaks through the clouds and gaggles of tourists devour ice-creams at the nearby harbour beach, Walker is reminiscing about how this area – known locally as “downlong” – was once affordable for young renters and was populated with traditional B&Bs.“I used to pay £25 a week to live here, but those prices are long gone,” he says. “Housing poverty here is not a new thing.

Something should have been done about it 20 years ago.”In 2016, residents in St Ives voted to take action against the scourge of second home ownership.

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