'Go away': Priced-out locals' graffiti protest on holiday homes

Luxury homes in a seaside village have been vandalised in protest at the fact that locals cannot afford to live there.

Words such as 'no more 2nd homes', 'greed' and 'go away' were daubed on walls and driveways of new-built houses on sale for up to £485,000.

Worth Matravers in Dorset has been nicknamed the 'Ghost Village' by those who say 60 per cent of the 174 properties there are holiday homes that are hardly lived in.


A contractor cleans up the graffiti left by angry locals who have been priced out of the housing market by wealthy interlopers

The lack of year-round residents forced the village craft shop and cafe to close and the site was sold to developers who built the four 'high-quality' three-bedroom homes.

But on the eve of the estate agent's open day the vandals struck, using white paint to graffiti hostile slogans in two-foot high letters.

Contractors were called in to jet-wash the paint off before prospective buyers arrived on Saturday.

It was a disturbing reminder of the torching of holiday homes in Wales in the 1970s by nationalists similarly priced out of the property market.

One villager, who did not want to be named, said: 'I don't know who did it but it does reflect the resentment and ill-feeling in the village against this development.

'Nearly £500,000 for a three-bed house? People living here can't afford £50,000 for the deposit. No doubt they will be bought by wealthy people from London who will only be here at weekends and in the summer.'


Prospective buyers were met with strong messages from local protesters

Joyce Meates, chairman of Worth Matravers parish council, said there had been fierce opposition to the development ever since it was given planning permission.

She added: 'I know the feelings of villagers have run strong over this, and still do - but I can't condone behaviour like this.'

Worth Matravers lies on the Isle of Purbeck, whose scenery and world heritage-listed coast have made it a haven for second-home owners.

But six of its 18 schools have had to close as local families are priced out of the area.

Toni Coombes of Dorset county council said: 'Purbeck has the largest number of holiday homes and second homes in Dorset, if not the country.

'Young, local people can no longer afford the inflated house prices. When they grow up they are moving out of the area. We just haven't got the young families to send their children to our schools.'

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