Watch: Labour in England say they will follow Welsh Government’s lead on tackling second homes
Labour in England have said that they will follow the Welsh Government’s lead in tackling second homes.
Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, Lisa Nandy, said that they would be “introducing a licensing system inspired by my good friend Mark Drakeford in Wales”.
The Welsh Government, as part of a cooperation deal with Plaid Cymru, are currently taking action to try and reduce the number of holiday homes in Welsh communities.
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.
Lisa Nandy announced plans to “tackle the challenge of second homes in coastal and rural areas” in England by introducing a licensing system to identify genuine holiday lets, as opposed to second homeowners who “leave properties empty while pretending to rent them out to holidaymakers”.
The Wigan MP said: “We need to give power back to those people with a stake in the outcome and skin in the game, who are in it for the long haul.
“Today I can announce that we’re tackling the challenge of second homes in coastal areas,” she said. “Introducing a licencing system inspired by my good friend Mark Drakeford in Wales.
“With a stronger licencing system communities will be able to reap the rewards of thriving tourism, and end the scourge of communities becoming ghost towns when holidays.
“People are priced out of their own neighbourhoods, just for homes to stand empty for months. And trusting the community working with the community they can find the right balance to bring growth and jobs and income but protect the spirit and the fabric of a community that matters so much.”
Coastal and rural areas need to be able to reap the rewards of thriving tourism while protecting the spirit and fabric of their communities.
That’s why I announced this week that the next Labour Govt will introduce a licensing system for 🏴 as @PrifWeinidog has in 🏴
Details 👇 pic.twitter.com/keTEMGUAyR
— Lisa Nandy (@lisanandy) July 21, 2022
The Welsh Government said earlier this year that their changes would stop second home owners from classifying homes as businesses because they are let out for one fifth of the year.
“As part of the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru, we are committed to taking immediate action to address the impact of second homes and unaffordable housing in communities across Wales, using the planning, property and taxation systems,” Economy Minister Rebecca Evans said.
“As we continue to progress the package of measures and drawing on the latest evidence base, we will keep under constant review the whole range of levers available to use and how they may be deployed most effectively to meet our policy objectives and avoid any unintended consequences.”
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