I WOULD like to draw attention to the lack of rented accommodation for local people in the Ulverston town centre area.

It seems like many smaller properties which come on the market are being snapped up to be renovated for either holiday letting or weekday accommodation for contractors working in the area, effectively removing a large number of potential homes from the local residential market.

I know of one owner alone who has around a dozen such houses/flats, although most such operations seem to be on a much smaller or individual scale.

We need tourists, holidaymakers and workers from further afield for their contribution to the local economy, but surely they don't all need accommodating right in the heart of town.

I have lived in my current location, a few minutes from Market Place, for five years, with my immediate vicinity currently comprising nine residential properties within a 30-yard radius. Two have been short-term rentals for some time. However, in the past two years three more have come on the market and been set up as holiday cottages, another converted into the same from an unused building.

This makes only three properties out of nine available for longer-term use by local residents.

For those who 'Buy to Let' it's obviously a no-brainer to choose between the lucrative weekly income from short-term occupation, or market rent per month from a tenant.

I suspect it is a similar story throughout the more central parts of Ulverston, as you only need to Google 'Ulverston Accommodation' to find a huge choice.

This also has an impact on a sense of community as neighbours change from week to week and are not always either friendly or considerate.

It is next to impossible for people such as myself to find a small longer-term home, as being unable to drive and with health issues it would be difficult for me to live away from shops and facilities.

It would be interesting to know from the council just how many houses/flats are officially classed as short-stay/holiday accommodation.

It would also be good if there was some way the council could bring in some restrictions on new lettings to encourage landlords to offer short-term tenancies of six months or more at market rents, as is happening elsewhere.

This would give locals more chance of a home, retain a sense of community in the heart of town and prevent us being squeezed out.

D. Atkinson