Housing crisis: Ceredigion’s plans on second homes welcomed
Language campaigners have welcomed a motion passed by Ceredigion council to tackle the housing crisis.
At a plenary meeting of the council on Thursday (June 17), Ceredigion County Council unanimously voted in favour of a motion by Aberystwyth Plaid Cymru Councillor Mark Strong committing the council to call on the Welsh Government to introduce a package of measures to tackle the housing crisis.
The motion carried was that Ceredigion County Council calls on the Welsh Government to:
- Add a new clause to the Planning Act so that it is compulsory to make a planning application before obtaining the right to convert a residential home into a holiday home or a holiday let;
- Adapt the policy framework to allow for maximum thresholds to be set with regard to the number of holiday homes in a given area;
- Make it compulsory for second-home owners to ask for planning permission before turning a second home into a holiday business or an AirBnB business.
Councillor Mark Strong said during the meeting: “I expect Mark Drakeford to listen very carefully to us today and to act on what we are saying. . . It is important that young people are able to have a stable home of their own.
“I’m sure most of us here live in a stable home, and that most, if not all, of us own our own house, but thousands of people are now suffering the risk of permanently not being able to buy a house because of such unfair competition coming from very wealthy people who can buy a second or third house.”
Council leader, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, who seconded the motion added: “I hope we see the Government moving sooner rather than later; because, as time flies . . . things are getting worse.”
In response, Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s (Welsh Language Society) Communities Group spokesman Jeff Smith, said: “The housing crisis is a huge problem in Ceredigion and it is good to see that the council is planning to take action.
“The council leader, Ellen ap Gwynn, made it clear at the meeting that this issue needs to be acted upon – this kind of political will by the council is undoubtedly to be welcomed.
“The crisis is a national problem. As part of our ‘Mwy Na Miliwn’, (‘More than a million’) policy vision for this Senedd term, we propose a package of policies that should be implemented in order to solve the current crisis.
“As well as implementing the council’s calls, the Government also needs to cap the percentage of second homes in any given community, control rent prices so they are affordable for people on local incomes and introduce a super-tax for landlords which would go towards investing in bringing empty homes and second homes back to community use.
“A Property Act should also be introduced that will give communities control over the housing market and secure a local home for all.”