Campaigners gather in Abersoch to protest against second homes
A further protest against the number of second homes in the area has been held in Abersoch.
The demonstration is in response to a new consultation on second homes and self-catering holiday accommodation launched last month by the Welsh Government.
Event organiser Dafydd Griffiths said that protesters engaged in positive conversations with tourists visiting the area.
Speaking to the Cambrian Times he said: “The tourists who stopped to chat, who were staying in a nearby caravan park, were of the same opinion as us in that the locals should be living in the houses.
“They also enquired what the local authority and the Senedd were doing to address the situation.”
Last month, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s Sustainable Communities Group, Elin Hywel, present at the Abersoch protest, said the consultation itself was an attempt to “downplay the effects of the housing crisis across Wales”.
The consultation was announced before hundreds turned out to a rally last month at the Tryweryn dam to call on the Welsh Government to take action on high house prices and second homes.
“Ordinary people across Wales are feeling increasingly desperate and are begging their government to protect them from the effects of the open market that is ruining their communities and their chances of getting a home.
“The housing crisis is not an abstract issue but is rather an injustice that has a direct impact on all aspects of daily life.”
Views are being sought on potential changes to local taxes which could be used by local authorities to tackle the effects that large numbers of second homes and commercial holiday lets can have in some parts of Wales.
Wales is still the only UK nation to give local authorities the power to introduce a 100 per cent council tax premium on both second homes and long-term empty homes (empty for more than a year).
This additional income can be used to address issues affecting the supply of affordable housing or for the provision of public services and other facilities such as public transport.
The Welsh Government consultation on council tax and non-domestic rates was launched by Climate Change Minister Julie James last month to address the impact of second home ownership seen in some of Wales’ communities.
Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for housing, Mabon ap Gwynfor MS, said: “Rising house prices, increasing demand for second homes, and fewer properties available for rental; the housing crisis in Wales is getting worse.
“In launching a consultation, the government has at last acknowledged there is a housing crisis but in failing to act where they can, they are allowing this crisis to get worse.”
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Sadly, They won’t get very far while Mark Drakeford is in charge.
Simon Hart let it slip he is a second home owner
They need to consider civil disobedience and not just demo’s.
demos, don’t you mean?
Why don’t you put your head above the parapet and nip down to galvanise, them?
I’m hoping that by raising that point, I will have helped to galvanise them.
It’s far too late I’m afraid. Nothing will be done and a massive chunk of second home owners are Welsh, but you’re not allowed to say it.
You’re allowed to say it, and your massive chunk represents only a small minority of second home owners in the Bro.
Local ownership everywhere is a problem, sadly. But locals ‘Enjoy’ the funds spent in areas like Abersoch by visitors. We had homes in Wales – Clynnog and Abersoch – from the mid 1950’s spending a great deal of money buying and maintaining them, all the funds going into local pockets. A seaside holiday home was my fathers aspiration and he achieved it but worked very hard to do so. For a hundred years plus Wales has prospered greatly from such purchases. We must not forget that the ‘Local’ who sold his property in the very first instance to ‘Someone from… Read more »
‘Enjoy’ the funds spent locally by visitors?
Who spends most in the community: a family who occupy their 2nd home for 2-3 weeks a year, and bring a lot of supplies from Waitrose at home, or a family living in the same property 52 weeks of the year?
Second homes kill communities. Real homes build them.
What about local businessmen who own 4/5 Propertys but are quiet happy to have bought the Propertys years ago when they where cheaper but rent them out to locals who have to pay top rents to stay in there home village. It’s human nature!! It’s called greed
New buildings in abersoch do not suit the character of this lovely old Welsh fishing village. Nearly all of them look cheap and nasty compared to the local vernacular. There are many pockets of building land that could be marked down for local use only, with local building materials to keep the character, identity and integrity of this very special place.