A decision likely to be finalised next week by South Hams District Council in Devon will see a rise in the amount owners currently pay on their second homes following the implementation of the Local Government Act 2003.

The Act states that councils now have the right to increase the amount of tax paid by owners of second homes by decreasing the current percentage they get off tax levels paid by owners of only one home.

The amount people pay on their second homes is currently 50% less than that of people with only one property, and local councils will now have powers to increase the amount paid up to 90% of the full rate.

Devon has extremely high levels of second home ownership, and the council stands to generate considerable funds from the policy, which it intends to spend on affordable housing for teachers and nurses in the area.

‘We are seeing continuing house price rises in this area,’ Council Leader Richard Younge told Countryife.co.uk. ‘We need to make sure that the younger generation can afford to buy property as well as older people who earn more.

‘For a rural community to operate well, it needs people of all ages and from all walks of life.’

Many councils throughout England and Wales will be discussing whether to follow suit over coming months, and are expected to find this policy is a good way to raise additional revenue, particularly in rural areas.