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