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Second homes and short-term holiday lets having “substantial impact” on ability to access homes

09 May 2024 3 minute read
Beddgelert. Image: Enjoy Travel

Dale Spridgeon Local Democracy Reporter

Planning measures to control the use of properties as second homes and short-term holiday accommodation could soon be implemented in one Welsh county.

Cyngor Gwynedd says it has now reached “an important stage” in the process to decide whether to introduce an Article 4 Direction.

This is a planning tool which enables local planning authorities to respond to the specific needs of their areas.

It comes as “significant numbers” of houses in Gwynedd are being used as second homes and holiday lets.

“Substantial impact”

The council claims this is having a “substantial impact” on the ability of residents to find homes in the county and wants to have more control over the situation.

A report will be submitted to the council’s Communities Scrutiny Committee on May 16 to consider responses following a public engagement period on the introduction of the powers, held during August and September 2023.

A final decision could be made by the council’s cabinet later this year.

The legislation allows local planning authorities such as Cyngor Gwynedd to introduce an Article 4 Direction controlling the use of houses, such as second homes and holiday accommodation.


Councillor Dafydd Meurig, Cyngor Gwynedd’s cabinet member for environment, said: “The significant number of houses in Gwynedd being used as second homes and short-term holiday accommodation is having a substantial impact on the ability of people in the county to access homes in their communities.

“The council submitted detailed research to Welsh Government highlighting the need for action to have better control of the situation.

“In response, the Government has introduced a series of measures which include amendments to planning legislation allowing local planning authorities such as Cyngor Gwynedd to introduce an Article 4 Direction to control the use of houses such as second homes and holiday accommodation.

“We are grateful to everyone who provided comments during last year’s public engagement.

“All responses have received careful consideration, and the discussion in the scrutiny committee will be an opportunity for members to take a look at this work before a report is submitted to the council’s cabinet for a final decision.”

The introduction of an Article 4 Direction would essentially enable the council as Gwynedd local planning authority to insist that property owners obtain planning permission before changing the use of a main home into a second home or short-term holiday accommodation.

The change would not apply to properties already established as second homes or short-term holiday accommodation before the Article 4 Direction came into force.

Recommendations stemming from Cyngor Gwynedd’s communities scrutiny committee discussions on May 16, 2024 will be included in the report to the council’s cabinet in either June or July, for a final decision on whether the council is to implement an Article 4 Direction.

If the Cabinet decides to proceed, the Article 4 Direction would be in effect from September 1, 2024, and effective in the Gwynedd local planning authority area only – not in the Eryri National Park area.

The Park is currently undertaking a public consultation on the implementation of an Article 4 Direction in the Eryri Planning Authority Area.

For more information on the Article 4 Direction, visit:

The full report can be found here: Agenda for Communities Scrutiny Committee on Thursday, 16th May, 2024, 10.00 am (

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Swn Y Mor
Swn Y Mor
3 days ago

What percentage of the housing stock in Gwynedd are used for second home or holiday let purposes?

Peter Jones
Peter Jones
2 days ago
Reply to  Swn Y Mor


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