‘Wales is not for sale’: Campaigners fly banners opposing second homes in holiday hotspots
Members of Cymdeithas yr Iaith have marked the start of the holiday season by flying banners with the message “Wales is not for sale” in both English and Welsh at holiday hotspots over the Easter weekend.
The demos against the housing crisis across Wales caused by the proliferation of second homes and holiday lets, was attended by activists from Gwynedd, Anglesey, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire.
A spokesperson for the campaigners said: “Displaying flags in both languages means that we reach people who may be thinking of buying a holiday home or already have one.
“Second homes are only part of the problem, but it’s timely at the beginning of the holiday season to draw attention to second houses, and the roads were very busy.
“There was a lot of support too – people waving and beeping their horn. The housing problem is something that is a concern for a lot of people.”
Last month it was announced that from April 2023 the maximum council tax premium payable on second homes could be raised to a whopping 300% to tackle the negative impact vacant houses, holiday lets and soaring property prices are having on local communities.
The tax hike is part of a series of measures set out in the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru to tackle the housing crisis in Wales.
The maximum premium councils can charge now is 100%, which means the new measure could lead to a possible tax rise of 200%.
Speaking after the announcement, Plaid Cymru’s Lead Designated Member Sian Gwenllian MS said: “It is clear that we as a country are facing a housing crisis. So many people cannot afford to live in their local areas, and the situation has worsened during the pandemic.
“These changes will make a difference, enabling councils to respond to their local circumstances and start to close the loophole in the current law. It’s a first but important step on a journey towards a new housing system that ensures that people have the right to live in their community.”
Climate change minister Julie James added: “We want people to be able to live and work in their local communities, but we know rising house prices are putting them out of reach of many people, exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis we are facing.”
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Alas, it very clearly is.
Quite so Gareth. We won’t see a significant improvement until second home ownership of a property becomes a designated “change of use” under planning laws and limits set on the % of homes permitted to be used in this way. This clearly requires legislation – if anyone with knowledge of these matters is able to assist, is this a Senedd or a Westminster legislative competence?
Yes no more second homes in wales 🏴 it’s time for a new wales 🏴 kick all English party’s out of wales vote Plaid Cymru 🏴
A much sharper and more hard-hitting message is needed. Something like Enjoy your holiday but don’t even THINK of buying a house here.
And it has to be repeated time after time that English people moving here to live can have at least as much impact on local housing affordability as do holiday homes. This cultural displacement is also inflicting infinitely greater damage to Welsh language and culture as well as to the very essence and identity of some of our most cherished and treasured communities.
Wow not much difference between you and the National Front bigots then.
Yes, wanting people living locally to be able to CONTINUE to afford living locally is exactly the same as the English Nazi party wanting to kick brown people out of England. 🙄 Ya goon! You better report back to Mr Rees-Mogg at One Nation Tory HQ that you are not a very good agent provocateur.
I think you have misinterpreted his reply or else you too want single out English incomers from all other nationalities? In which case you’re racist too
You wish! You’re probably perfectly aware of the degree of support that this campaign has, not only in the areas affected, but throughout the whole of Cymru. The vast majority in Gwynedd must be “bigots”, then. Try to see it from Wales’point of view.
Cymru: Nid yw Cymru ar werth
Tory Newspapers: Buy up holiday houses and buy-to-lets cheaply in Wales
It’s the Welsh selling Wales bear in mind. Just market forces and greed as always!