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Welsh language activists target second homes ‘to keep pressure on government and councils’ to act

27 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Cymdeithas stickers on a sign for a summer home

Welsh language activists have placed stickers on summer houses on Anglesey declaring “Nid yw Cymru ar Werth” (Wales is not for sale).

Cymdeithas yr Iaith said they were calling on the island’s council to play its part in protecting the island’s communities by increasing the level of the council tax premium on second houses.

They placed stickers on houses in the in the Rhosneigr which has become a hot spot for summer homes on the island.

Osian Jones on behalf of the Nid yw Cymru ar Werth campaign said: “The regulations and the housing situation have changed since the Council made the original decision to raise a council tax premium of 75% on second homes.

“2,208 houses on the island are considered second homes, which is 9 % of the county’s housing stock, so the council needs to use the opportunity next week to put measures in place now to reduce the problem, by raising the council tax premium for second houses.

“The Welsh Government is not doing enough either – it has been slow to give guidelines to councils about their new powers, and there is still no mention of money or resources for councils to cover the additional work.”

Cymdeithas stickers on a sign for a summer home

Anglesey Council decided in 2019 that it would charge a 75% council tax premium on second houses.

Since then the Welsh Government has changed the regulations and Local Authorities can charge a premium of up to 300%, and can put measures in place to require planning permission to change a home into a second house.

Cyngor Môn’s cabinet will meet on Tuesday (29/12) to approve a report on Council Tax for 2023/24. The report confirms the decision made in 2019 to raise 75% of council tax premium on second homes.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith said that second homes are only part of the problem, pointing to the fact that average house prices are £275,635 while the average salary is £27,124. They are also calling for a Property Act that will regulate the housing market.

Osian Jones added: “While our communities are losing housing stock and local people are having to leave their communities, neither our councils nor the Government are doing enough, or acting quickly enough.

“We will use a Nid yw Cymru ar Werth rally in Llanrwst on December 17 to call on councils across Wales to make full use of the powers they have to tackle the effect of second houses, as well as calling on them to press for a complete Property Act which will regulate the housing market.”


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D Hughes
D Hughes
2 months ago

Just also be kinder in all this to children inheriting the family home and needing up to 2 years to deal with things without having the council on their backs forcing them to sell ASAP to the highest bidder due to the punitive extortionate council tax grab as they grieve and deal with parents’ possessions etc :-(.

Owain Morgan
Owain Morgan
2 months ago
Reply to  D Hughes

Be kinder to people unable to buy or even rent a home within an hour’s drive of where they were brought up and then having to live in an area where they can’t even exist while using their first language. Try to understand that this is a double whammy on Native Welsh speakers driven out of their communities. This is a national tragedy what is happening and the truth is that a significant minority of English people either couldn’t care less or are happy to see this happen because they want to destroy the Welsh language and the Welsh identity.… Read more »

Mike Flynn
Mike Flynn
2 months ago
Reply to  Owain Morgan

This is more than a language issue as it is pan UK. Young people are forced out of the property market because of second homes and holiday lets across Britain. Norfolk, Cornwall, The Lake District and Yorkshire to mention just a few.

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike Flynn

And many of these places have local occupancy section 106 clauses on houses. The language issue in Wales adds to the complexity of the issue.

Mike Flynn
Mike Flynn
2 months ago
Reply to  D Hughes

Fair point as Probate takes around six months.

David
David
2 months ago
Reply to  D Hughes

The council could place a sub clause for those houses in probate.

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
2 months ago

I truly believe that the only way to deal with this mess is a fully fledged property act. There are numerous ‘unintended consequences’ to this tax increase strategy – many of which make the situation actually worse: people changing their holiday home to an air bnbIn the Fro Gymraeg especially – people moving into their holiday homes permanently from far and wide, thus anglicising communities 365 days a year, instead of a few weekends. (I personally know of many people who have done this – whilst simultaneously bragging they have avoided Gwynedd Council’s ‘double tax’.)the homes being sold on the… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Rhufawn Jones
Mike Flynn
Mike Flynn
2 months ago

To be fair this is a UK wide problem and not confined to Wales.
Norfolk has the highest concentration of holiday homes in the UK. In my opinion what is required is a change in planning regulations which would mean that any home used other than a primary dwelling requires chance of use permission.

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
2 months ago

Nation Cymru – I’m pretty sure that the house in the first picture is in Gellilydan, Gwynedd, not on Ynys Môn. Maybe you could edit the text accordingly?

Cawr
Cawr
2 months ago
Reply to  Rhufawn Jones

Passed it yesterday. Gellilydan confirmed.

John
2 months ago

No second homes. Wales for the welsh please. If English want second homes what is wrong with England?

Mawkernewek
2 months ago
Reply to  John

In places where they want second homes too many English people already bought second homes and drove up the prices!

Mike Flynn
Mike Flynn
2 months ago
Reply to  John

I think you will find that could be legally construed as being discriminatory on the basis of language ethnicity and culture.
What exactly is a Welsh person? First second or third generation born inside the borders or just someone who is fluent in the language?

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