Second home owners living in Norfolk's Chelsea-on-Sea coast will soon see their council tax double despite Tory pleas to "think of the little guy".

The Independent-controlled West Norfolk Council voted to approve the new levy which will come into force next year and is expected to raise an extra £6.5m in funds.

In just two upmarket villages alone - Burnham Market and Brancaster - it could raise at least £1m.

Eastern Daily Press: An aerial view of Brancaster StaitheAn aerial view of Brancaster Staithe (Image: Mike Page)

But during a full council meeting, several members of the Conservative group raised fears it would cause more harm than good, penalising second home owners who may be cash-strapped and also damaging the local economy by pushing wealthy out-of-towners away.

Stuart Dark, leader of the Tory opposition, said the move made him "nervous" and worried that it may "hurt the little guy" who may have inherited a second home and urged caution when applying the new rules.

READ MORE: Cash cow villages could raise £6.5m through second home tax changes

Eastern Daily Press: Stuart Dark, leader of the Conservative group at West Norfolk CouncilStuart Dark, leader of the Conservative group at West Norfolk Council (Image: Matthew Usher)

"We shouldn't apply it to the nth degree," he said and urged for there to be exceptions to the rules in certain circumstances.

Conservative councillors Samantha Sandell, Judith Collingham and Tom de Winton all spoke in opposition to the new rules.

Ms Sandell, who represents Burnham Market, said she did not support it and that it left residents feeling unfairly penalised, arguing second home owners contributed to the economy and provided jobs.

Eastern Daily Press: West Norfolk Conservative councillors (from L-R) Samantha Sandell , Judith Collingham and Tom de WintonWest Norfolk Conservative councillors (from L-R) Samantha Sandell , Judith Collingham and Tom de Winton (Image: BCWNKL)

Mrs Collingham argued the claim that the extra tax may help ease the housing crisis if second home owners decide to sell was unlikely to help as the traditional jobs in these places, such as fishing have disappeared.

"Who will want to live in these Norfolk villages, to do what exactly? These jobs have gone" she said. 

While Mr de Winton, who represents Brancaster, said the new rules go after the wrong people and the council should instead focus on holiday lets, which he says "do not contribute anything" to the local area.

But other members painted a different picture, with Francis Bone, leader of the Labour group, arguing that villages had been "decimated" and that it meant the hollowed-out population who live there permanently was "struggling to survive". 

Eastern Daily Press: Terry Parish, leader of West Norfolk CouncilTerry Parish, leader of West Norfolk Council (Image: West Norfolk Council)

Terry Parish, who is in charge of the WNC administration, said there is little evidence that the increased taxation will lead to an exodus of second home owners and highlighted how the move will lead to increased revenue at a time when the council is facing a tight budget.

Claims that the wealthy second home owners will try and circumvent the new taxes by turning their properties into holiday lets - instead paying business rates - were also rebuked by Mr Parish.

He said that if they did, it would still bring more money into the district through the increased business rates.

Eastern Daily Press: The cliffs at Old HunstantonThe cliffs at Old Hunstanton (Image: Newsquest)

The leader of the ruling Independent coalition has said he will attempt to negotiate for a larger share of the revenue raised through the second home levy, which is set to provide just £670,000 for the parishes and district council.

Members spoke of their wish that this could be directed to the communities most affected by second homes on the Chelsea-on-Sea coast. 

The majority will instead go to Norfolk County Council which is itself facing huge financial pressures and currently is in more than £800m of debt.

Deputy leader of Norfolk County Council Andrew Jamieson, who is also a WNC member, highlighted the growing costs County Hall faces, and indicated it will be unlikely these negotiations will result in any changes to the split of the pot.

Following a lengthy debate, councillors voted to approve the second home tax levy, as well as changes to the amount it can charge owners of empty properties, which could raise an additional £780,000 in revenue.