Campaigners march on Caernarfon to call for action on house prices and second homes
Protestors campaigning for action on second homes and rising house prices have been marching in Gwynedd today.
The ‘Hawl I Fyw Adra’ (Right to Live at Home) campaigners said that “very little had been achieved politically” over the last year.
It will be the second time they have marched from the Llyn Peninsula to Caernarfon, having done so once already a year ago.
They are calling on the Welsh Government to cap the number of second homes and to ensure that planning permission is needed to convert a residential home into a holiday home.
They have called on the leaders of Gwynedd and Anglesey councils to urgently review their local development plans to protect local communities and the Welsh language.
Elidyr Glyn a Gwilym Bowen Rhys efo Safwn yn y Bwlch. pic.twitter.com/9qaCqqhUuy
— Gareth Wyn Williams (@LDRMonGwynedd) September 25, 2021
“We’re walking to Caernarfon today to highlight the problems that young people are having when trying to get on the ladder to buy their own homes in the rural and coastal areas as we have here in Gwynedd, ” Councillor Gruffydd Williams said in a video on Facebook.
In a statement ‘Hawl I Fyw Adra’ said that communities continued to be vulnerable because people could not afford homes.
“Communities where Welsh is a living language are shrinking and are now areas of special linguistic sensitivity,” they said.
“It is disappointing that neither our Government nor our County Council Leadership are taking urgent and bold action to resolve the crisis.”
Mi rydan ni’n cerdded heddiw i roi pwysau pellach ar Lywodraeth Cymru a Chyngor Gwynedd i weithredu ar frys i ddatrys yr argyfwng tai pic.twitter.com/NNHHIaU0JX
— Hawl i Fyw Adra (@IHawl) September 25, 2021
In Caernarfon musicians Elidyr Glyn and Gwilym Bowen Rhys sang the protest song ‘Safwn yn y Bwlch’.
The Welsh Government has previously said it was committed to tackling the “adverse impact that disproportionate numbers of second homes can have on communities”.
Their consultation considers “possible changes to local taxes to support local authorities in managing the impact of second homes and self-catered accommodation in their areas.” It runs until 17 November.
Language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith have also called for a cap on the number of second and holiday homes in any community, as part of “introducing a radical package of measures as a matter of urgency”.
It comes as Wales saw the biggest house prices rises in the UK year on year in August, with the average price increasing 11.6%. It has iven rise to fears that many people will not be able to afford to live in their own communities.