AN MP has expressed concerns after receiving information from the district council about a sharp rise in the number of people seeking housing support.

Tim Farron felt the reason for this rise was multi-layered.

He blamed the financial impacts of the pandemic and the 'thousands' of people in South Lakeland who did not receive Government support but needed it, the end of the Government's legislation preventing landlords from evicting tenants for not paying rent earlier this year, and the rise in holiday lets in the district.

The Westmorland and Lonsdale MP said he was part of a roundtable discussion on housing on Tuesday, at which he was told by a representative of the district council that there had been a 30 per cent rise in people seeking housing support over the course of a year.

"There's a bunch of things that need to happen," he said.

"I want them [the Conservatives] to change the law so that holiday lets and second homes are a separate clause of use to residential."

Mr Farron said this would mean people would have to apply for planning permission to start using a property as a holiday let.

He felt this would allow local government and the national park authority more control over the situation.

He also wants the Conservatives to follow through on their previous promise to abolish section 21 'no-fault' evictions permanently.

"I have asked the Government to make various changes already," he said.

He is set to request a debate in Parliament on the 'housing crisis' in rural England.

Among the many cases he has encountered of people being evicted from their homes so they could be used in the holiday market, says Mr Farron, was one of a woman from Kirkby Lonsdale who was evicted and later saw the property she was renting available on Airbnb for £1,000 a week.

Earlier this month, the Gazette spoke to Bowness bar manager Debbie Lumsden, 52, who had received a call from her landlord earlier in the year saying she had four months to move out of the property - which she suspected was going to be used for holiday lets.

“I feel like nobody is looking out for the people that work in the tourist trade," she said at the time.

“Every business is struggling with the fact that there is nowhere for workers to live.”