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Council told it ‘should’ consider 100% tax premium on second homes

03 Mar 2021 3 minute read
Aberaeron, Ceredigion. Picture by GregMontani on Pixabay.

Katy Jenkins, local democracy reporter

Ceredigion council should be asked to consider introducing a 100 per cent council tax premium on second homes, a committee has recommended.

Evidence linked to a notice of motion put forward last year calling on the Welsh Government to change planning law to allow greater control of second homes and holiday homes by local authorities was discussed as a way of allowing local communities to thrive.

The committee’s overview of the situation outlined the number of second homes and holiday homes known by the council using council tax data. A total of 2125 properties listed as second homes or holiday lets, with 1,726 subject to council tax plus a 25 per cent premium and 399 paying non domestic rates.

These include 65 caravans, 63 chalets and a bed stock survey in 2019 showed 633 self-catering units and around 1000 Air BnB units.

Holiday lets completed through planning conditions between 2000 and 2020 number 426, with another 243 outstanding consents.

At committee on Wednesday (March 3) members heard that this equates to around six per cent of all dwellings in the county, putting Ceredigion at fourth highest across Wales.

‘Highest percentage’ 

The highest percentage of holiday homes was in New Quay at 26 per cent or 206 properties out of 806. The next highest was Penbryn at 12 per cent or 138 out of 1163 properties, and then Borth with 11 per cent or 122 out of 1159 properties.

The report adds that the numbers “demonstrates a relatively stable market” since 1991 and most were in the coastal areas and the wider Aberystwyth area including Capel Bangor and Devils Bridge.

When Cllr Mark Strong put forward his notice of motion in December there was general support from councillors but more evidence of the numbers in the county was requested.

Cllr Lyndon Lloyd asked that consideration be given to a 100 per cent second home  council tax premium – similar to plans in Anglesey and Gwynedd – which was backed by the committee.

The impact of these homes on communities, the Welsh language and services were concerns of councillors, while also highlighting the need to balance the economic benefit with around £2.4million a year accounted for.

This report will go back for further consideration of the motion at full council in the near future.

The Welsh Government welcomed a report on developing new policies on second homes this week which highlights the need for regional or local interventions, which the committee agreed would be important.

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