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Council to consider hiking council tax on second homes by up to 300%

02 Sep 2023 2 minute read
Little Haven in Pembrokeshire. Photo by Russ Hamer is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Bruce Sinclair, local democracy reporter

Councillors will meet next month to discuss a recent consultation on changes which could see triple the rate of council tax charged on second homes.

New local tax rules introduced by the Welsh Government earlier this year mean local authorities are able to set and collect council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties of up to 300 per cent.

Pembrokeshire is currently operating a 100 per cent council tax premium for second homes, having previously introduced a 50 per cent council tax premium in 2017.

A premium for long term empty properties in the county was introduced in 2019 for properties that have been empty for three years or more.

The public consultation on potential changes was launched earlier this year, closing last month.

The consultation sought views on:

  • Current council tax premiums for second homes
  • Current council tax premiums for long-term empty homes
  • Whether the council should use its discretion following Welsh Government’s reform to self-catering holiday accommodation thresholds

Information recently published by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park showed that in some parts of the county more than 60 per cent of homes were second homes.


For the main centres of settlements within the national park, second home rates were: Tenby 28.07 per cent, Saundersfoot 29.35 per cent, St Davids 20.86 per cent and Newport 30.6 per cent.

For smaller communities within the national park, some of the figures were even higher.

Topping the list, by a large margin, were Little Haven at 62.96 percent and Nolton Haven at 60 per cent.

The rule changes also included new planning use classes, giving councils the option of making local amendments to the planning system, particularly with regard to the change of use of a property.

The criteria for holiday lets being liable for non-domestic rates instead of council tax has also been strengthened.

Pembrokeshire County Council’s Cabinet will now consider the consultation results at its October 2 meeting, with a final decision on options, ranging up to 300 per cent, made by full council at its meeting on October 12.

Neighbouring Ceredigion’s Cabinet is expected to ratify a request for a similar consultation to be held at its meeting next Tuesday (5 September).

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10 months ago

We as with our Celtic cousins in Cornwall are at a tipping point for survival in many rural and coastal communities.

Second homes are the 21st Centuary version of the great land clearing of the 19th

10 months ago

Good, the government needs to take the issue seriously to put these people off.

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