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Drakeford and Price announce that councils will be allowed to control number of second homes

04 Jul 2022 4 minute read
Mark Drakeford and Adam Price

Local authorities will be allowed to control the number of second homes in communities as part of a new crackdown announced by Mark Drakeford and Adam Price.

The First Minister and Plaid Cymru leader will also allow councils to require planning permission to change a house to a holiday let or second home.

They will also require holiday lets to require a license to operate.

The Plaid Cymru and Welsh Government cooperation agreement, unveiled last year, included a commitment to take action to curb the impact of second homes on communities in Wales.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We are today setting out the next steps in a radical programme to ensure everyone has the opportunity to afford to live in their local community – whether that’s buying or renting a home.

“We have a shared ambition for Wales to be a nation of thriving communities – a country where people do not have to leave to find good and rewarding work and a country which people want to come to visit and to live.

“Tourism is vital to our economy but having too many holiday properties and second homes, which are empty for much of the year, does not make for healthy local communities and prices people out of the local housing market.

“There is no single, simple solution to these issues. Any action we take must be fair. We do not want to create any unintended consequences, which could destabilise the wider housing market or make it harder for people to rent or buy.”

‘Right to live at home’

The package of measures being announced today includes:

  • Changes to planning regulations by the end of the summer. These will introduce three new planning use classes – a primary home, a second home and short-term holiday accommodation.  Local planning authorities, where they have evidence, will be able to make amendments to the planning system to require planning permission for change of use from one class to another.
  • The Welsh Government will also introduce changes to national planning policy to give local authorities the ability to control the number of second homes and holiday lets in any community.
  • Plans to introduce a statutory licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation, including short-term holiday lets, making it a requirement to obtain a license. This will help raise standards across the tourism industry.
  • Following a consultation about varying land transaction tax locally in areas with large numbers of second homes, work will start today (Monday 4 July) with local authorities to develop a national framework so they can request increased land transaction tax rates for second homes and holiday lets to be applied in their local area.

The Welsh Government have already confirmed that they will carry on with plans for tax hikes on holiday lets that do not rent out their properties for more than half the year.

Following a consultation, from April local authorities will be able to set council tax premiums on second homes and long-term empty properties to 300% from April 2023.

The criteria for self-catering accommodation being liable for business rates instead of council tax will also change at the same time, from 70 to 182 days.

Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said: “We are committed to using a range of planning, taxation and property levers to tackle the issue of second and unaffordable homes – and to do so with urgency.

“The package of purposeful measures that have been developed as a result of the constructive cooperation between Plaid Cymru and the Government in this area will, together, begin to address the injustices in our housing system and make a real difference to people and communities right across our nation.

“The aim is to give everyone ‘yr hawl i fyw adra’– the ability to live and work in the communities in which they grew up.”


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Dr John Ball
Dr John Ball
4 months ago

At last! the Senedd has woken up to the problem, and I welcome this move. What troubles me is the two man party. I have in the past – here in Nation Cymru and elsewhere – questioned Adam Price’s leadership and the direction being taken by Plaid Cymru. Only last week Drakeford again confirmed his unionist credentials and cuttingly observed that any independence referendum would only come about when the majority party in the Senedd was in favour of independence. Presumably he meant Plaid Cymru, although that party’s commitment is elastic at best. The reality is simple. Adam Price is… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
4 months ago
Reply to  Dr John Ball

Plaid Llafur Cymru, The Labour Party of Wales. I’m sure Dafydd Iwan made some comments on that a little while back … In all seriousness John, the order of constitutional preferences in Welsh Labour (largest to smallest) now appears to be: 1. Undecided 2. Independence 3. Union Will we see a repeat of Scotland or will we see to what Dafydd Iwan replied “Why not?” If Welsh Labour become an independent party in their own right and adopt a policy of National Statehood for Wales, why not indeed. Y Fro and “Welsh Wales” uniting to take Wales forwards … that… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
4 months ago

Very good news. I’m very proud of Adam’s leadership. Plaid have faced a challenging electoral landscape in recent times. We’ve held our ground, pulled Welsh Labour towards our constitutional position and secured some big wins such as this today and the expansion of the Senedd.

Ymlaen Cymru.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
4 months ago

This is a positive turn of events, of a kind that unfortunately is all too rare in Welsh politics. Full marks to both parties.

vaughan
vaughan
4 months ago

both drakeford and Adam price admitted to being second home owners. what a joke!

Richard
Richard
4 months ago
Reply to  vaughan

I think most reasonable folk agree that letting these homes as holiday options or leaving them empty most of the time is an issue that effects local communities and the viability of rural life. Not sure how your comment adds to the discussion….?

Stewart morgan
Stewart morgan
4 months ago
Reply to  Richard

isn’t the point that if Mark drakeford owns a second home, which he apparently confirmed today, as does Adam price with a house in Cardiff, then they are acting contrary to their words??

hughesy
hughesy
4 months ago
Reply to  Stewart morgan

Mark drakeford said he in owned somewhere In an Pembrokeshire and price said Cardiff. our political elite are as bad as other rich people.

David
David
4 months ago
Reply to  vaughan

Do as we say, not do as we do!!!!!!!!!!!

Jill S N Francis
Jill S N Francis
4 months ago
Reply to  vaughan

Surely the fact that despite their second home ownership, they are forging ahead with increased taxes for second home owners (including themselves), indicates that they are honourable politicians and working on behalf of Wales and its people?

Mike trup
Mike trup
4 months ago

hahah don’t make me laugh. why does Adam price need two homes? that’s driving up prices in Cardiff and means I can’t afford to buy.

Llŷn expat
Llŷn expat
4 months ago
Reply to  Mike trup

Cardiff’s housing crisis can’t be blamed on the Cheshire set so this “news” site won’t cover it.

Dyncwmrhymni
Dyncwmrhymni
4 months ago

This is a good move. About time and at long last. This is devolution in practice. This momentum needs to continue. 👍

Richard
Richard
4 months ago

O ddiwedd ! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Llefain
Llefain
4 months ago

It’s a start.

Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
4 months ago

Thank God something is happening at last

George
George
4 months ago

It’s not just about allowing people who have grown up in the area to be able to live there, we ideally want these communities to grow and thrive with new people moving their to make them their permanent home. That means creative economies and not just ghost-towns.

Llŷn expat
Llŷn expat
4 months ago
Reply to  George

Absolutely.

Lots of these communities — Abersoch, Cwm yr Eglwys, Aberdaron — grew up as fishing and farming settlements. Both those industries have declined, and are in any event not so labour intensive. There is no vision for what these local economies would be like. “The same but with fewer tourists” is not a recipe for a prosperous community. If anything, it would accelerate the exodus of working age residents.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

Good to hear This shows when
Labour & Plaid work together rather than be deliberately antagonistic like the Welsh Conservatives are things can be done. Positive politics rather than Tory toxcitiy.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
4 months ago

Fantastic! I commend both parties – whatever their persuasions – for putting Wales ahead of party and political interests. This is an excellent and much needed move for the people of Cymru. Ymlaen.

Peter jones
Peter jones
4 months ago

So Adam Price has two flats in London. Very convenient you don’t have to pay higher tax there. Why didn’t he invest in Wales. Oh it would cost him more

Arthur
Arthur
4 months ago

Welsh economy will crash and burn. Like Brexit it will be a disaster for Wales.

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