Housing developer hit with hundreds of negative reviews after holiday let name changed to English
A housing developer has been pelted with hundreds of negative reviews online after advertising that a holiday let had been “renamed” from the Welsh language to English.
Over 200 1-star reviews were left for Anglesey Homes after they posted a message on social media advertising bookings saying “We’ve renamed our Gwel-yr-Wyddfa property!”
“It is now known as 9 Sandy Retreat – available for 8 guests, pet friendly, and in the beautiful village of Llanfaelog. Ready to book your stay?”
The company at first attempted to respond to those leaving the reviews, asking one user “have you purchased or rented a property from Anglesey Homes?
“Your review seems to be about a name change to a property that we own, rather than about a purchase or a personal experience you have had with us?” they asked.
However, the reviews continued to flood in, with over 230 people having now left a review, the majority in the one-star bracket and many with messages criticising the renaming. Google does not verify reviewers as having used the property.
We’ve renamed our Gwel-yr-Wyddfa property! 🏡
It is now known as 9 Sandy Retreat – available for 8 guests, pet friendly, and in the beautiful village of Llanfaelog 💛
— Anglesey Homes (@AngleseyHomes) June 20, 2022
The original online message, which has not been deleted, attracted a backlash on social media, with users including politicians accusing them of “shocking disrespect”.
Ynys Môn Senedd Member Rhun ab Iorwerth responded to ask them whether “erasing the Welsh language” was part of their “business plan”.
“Hi Anglesey Homes. Perhaps you could explain what’s happening here. This is a property at 9 Gwel yr Wyddfa, which you’ve now changed to 9 Sandy Retreat, yes? Is erasing the Welsh language/culture a part of your business plan?”
Anglesey Council Deputy Leader Carwyn Jones also responded to ask “Why on earth would you want to do that?”
Historian of Wales, Martin Johnes of Swansea University, responded to the message to say: “Most Welsh Twitter storms are overreactions to a nobody saying something stupid. This is different.
“Erasing Welsh placenames is wrong and should be illegal. It’s vandalism on a fragile heritage and culture and the anger is justified.”
Nation.Cymru has asked Anglesey Homes to comment on the negative response.
The property is still listed on Anglesey Homes’ website as ‘9 Gwel-yr-Wyddfa’.
“A newly built property on a new estate, just outside Rhosneigr on the Isle of Anglesey, is 9 Gwel-y-Wyddfa, a detached and contemporary property, ideal for a family or large group wanting to explore Anglesey’s coastline,” the website says.
The company has previously been criticised for the way it has marketed the properties on its website and on social media.
This included a message on their Facebook page in 2019, that read: “Owning a UK holiday home can be a great investment, and a reliable source of income.
“That’s why Anglesey Homes are building apartments and innovative new houses across coastal areas of North Wales that are perfect for new and experienced investors.”
Cymdeithas yr Iaith criticised the company at the time, telling the Daily Post: “This website is clearly focused on selling holiday homes to people from outside the island. The housing market needs a complete overhaul.
“We’re glad that the Welsh Government has allowed local authorities to increase council tax on second homes, but they need to go much further.
“We need a package of measures such as a Property Act to ensure that prices of homes reflect what is affordable to people on local wages.
“Local people should have the first chance to buy homes when they go on the market and they should only be marketed locally.”
A spokeswoman for Anglesey Homes said at the time: “It is not our intention to market the site purely to second home owners.
“We apologise if that is the impression you have taken from our website.
“You will also see that the site is registered with Help to Buy Wales, to assist local people to buy as homes. “
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