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Protestors accuse Welsh Government of ‘dragging its feet’ over action to tackle second homes

17 Sep 2022 4 minute read
A Cymdeithas yr Iaith rally in Llangefni on Saturday 17th September

Protestors have accused the Welsh Government of “dragging their feet” over legislation to protect Welsh communities from being overwhelmed by second homes.

At a rally at Llangefni on Anglesey today Welsh language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith called on the government to implement its promise to manage second homes and holiday accommodation in communities where young people cannot find a place to live.

Osian Jones, one of the organisers of the rally, said: “We held a rally in Llangefni today to launch the next steps of the Nid yw Cymru ar Werth (Wales is Not for Sale) campaign.

“Our intention is to encourage local authorities such as Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy to use the new powers that the Welsh Government is offering them to manage second homes and holiday accommodation to their full potential from April and to start the preparation for that now.

“Political will is on our side and a year of campaigning and pressure by people at a grass-roots level has led to measures that could make a difference.”

A a rally in Llangefni on Saturday 17th September

From next April county councils will have new powers to reduce the impact of second homes and holiday accommodation in their areas. There will be three new planning use classes – main home, second home and short term holiday accommodation.

Councils will be able to:

1. Control the number of second homes and holiday accommodation in any community;
2. Increase land transaction tax for second homes and holiday accommodation
3. Insist on planning permission for a change of use from one class to another.

But Osian Jones added that no guidelines or promises of funding to carry out all the work have been sent to local authorities yet.

“Classifying properties into categories so that the important proposal of requiring planning permission to change class of use will mean a significant amount of work; as will the work of gathering evidence of the need for planning permission,” he said.

“These new measures could make a real difference to our communities, so they need to be available to use straight away. We were therefore glad that Llinos Medi, leader of Anglesey Council, county councillors Arfon Wyn (Isle of Anglesey) and Aaron Wynne (Conwy) added their voioces to the call on the call on the Welsh Government to ensure that these proposals aren’t seen as empty promises.”

‘Radical’

The Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru proposals set out in July includes a statutory licensing scheme for all holiday lets and plans for local authorities to increase land transaction tax rates on second homes and holiday lets.

Local authorities have already been given the power to increase council tax on second homes by 300% from next year.

Mr Drakeford said at the time: “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.”

Gwynedd Council’s cabinet is currently seeking a decision to hold a public consultation on the possible proposal to raise the premium beyond 100% and up to 300% for second homes and long-term empty properties– for the financial year 2023/24.


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Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
17 days ago

Labour in Wales are still a UK party and are afraid to stand up to the English parliament when are they going to start looking out for the Welsh people and our Welsh labour MPS get off siting on their hands in parliament and stand up for Wales like the Scottish MPS stand up for Scotland all the time???

David
David
17 days ago
Reply to  Malcolm rj

Not all Scottish MP’s stand up for Scotland.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
17 days ago

I await comment from Janet Finch-Saunders.

The original mark
The original mark
17 days ago

Where’s RT, he’s been suspiciously quiet recently, starting to miss his idiot comments

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
17 days ago

I hear RT D2 Davies is currently undergoing repairs…

Jay Sata
Jay Sata
17 days ago

Not just a Welsh problem but one that affects large parts of England as well. Airbnb has added to the dire rental market.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
15 days ago
Reply to  Jay Sata

Second homes are probably a problem in many parts of the world but it is the Welsh government that needs to deal with the problem in Wales. What is your point of mentioning England? What happens in England is a matter for the English authorities to sort out and doesn’t mean nothing should be done in Wales

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
17 days ago

Mark Drakeford & Welsh Labour always state how they “stands up” for Wales and Welsh communities. Looks as if it’s all wind and bluster to get elected. Why are we surprised. 22 years of Labour with very little change on the ground. More recently, our First Minister has been more proactive & vocal in his concern for the English Monarchy and a so-called United Kingdom, a Union that doesn’t even represent us, than he has any promise, pledge or commitment made to Wales. His priorities are so wrong. And I agree with others others when they question the commitment of… Read more »

John
17 days ago

Marching is useless. You have to take control of the cou cils.

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