A Suffolk councillor has said Government plans to limit the spread of holiday homes by introducing tough new planning laws are 'exactly what we have been calling for'.

East Suffolk councillor David Beavan, who represents Southwold, said the plans drawn up by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities would enable a limit to be set on the number of holiday lets in Southwold and help the town to keep a 'living community'.

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A consultation is currently taking place on the proposals, which would see the introduction of a new class for short term lets into planning legislation, designed to address concerns among residents in areas with a high proportion of holiday homes.

East Anglian Daily Times: Southwold has a high number of holiday letsSouthwold has a high number of holiday lets (Image: Archant)

Previously, Cllr Beavan has spoken to the EADT about his concerns that Southwold 'would die' as a community unless action was taken over the number of holiday lets, which had diminished the supply of residential homes available for local residents.

He believed changes to the planning system would prevent the situation from 'getting worse' and would enable East Suffolk Council to say that '50% of the homes should actually be lived in'.

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Cllr Beavan praised Michael Gove, secretary of state for levelling up, for proposing the legislation.

He added: "This is exactly what we have been calling for as the only way to control the spread of holiday lets  - making it a requirement to apply for change of use from a residential home.

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"All credit to Gove for proposing this. Even more credit if he can deliver before the next general election.

"This will enable us to set a limit on holiday lets and retain a living community in Southwold".

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The proposed legislation also provides for new permitted development rights to enable homes to be converted to holiday lets in areas where this type of accommodation is not considered a problem. 

The consultation, which started on Wednesday, is due to run until June 7.