Cash pours in from Bamburgh holiday let owners after council asks for donations to help fund services

Holiday home owners in Bamburgh are once again digging into their pockets to support the local community.

Tuesday, 24th March 2020, 5:59 pm

Bamburgh Parish Council sent out a letter to every commercial let in 2019 asking for a £25 donation towards its council tax precept, and it raised over £1,000.

And the authority has done the same again this year, almost reaching the same sum already.

Clerk Dorothy Scott said: “We resent a letter out to holiday and second homes asking for an additional payment towards the precept. That went out about three weeks ago.

Welcome to Bamburgh.

“Up to now we’ve had £987 in. Some people have already set up direct debits and standing orders but we’ve also had quite a number of new people coming on board. The donations have ranged from £25 to £150 so it’s been a very worthwhile exercise.”

Neighbouring parish councils including North Sunderland, Beadnell, Embleton and Alnmouth are exploring similar models.

Across the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), about 45% of houses are second homes/holiday homes.

Five years ago, an AONB survey revealed the extent of holiday home domination in some communities, with Newton-by-the-Sea at 82 per cent, Beadnell at 80% and Bamburgh at 53%

Holiday home owners who have a second home for personal use that is not a commercial venture need to pay council tax.

However, for those who make their holiday home available to rent for short periods over 20 weeks or more in a year (140 days), should be registered for business rate property tax rather than paying council tax.