A JustGiving page has been set up to raise £50,000 to fund a legal challenge against Article 4.
A Facebook group, People of Gwynedd Against Article 4, and a petition opposing the council’s plan have also been launched.
The petition states: “If the Article 4 Direction is confirmed, and you own a residential dwelling (which is a main home) within the Gwynedd Local Planning Authority Area and wish to change the use to a second home, short term holiday let or specific mixed use, you will be required to obtain planning consent from Cyngor Gwynedd Local Planning Authority.”
Residents only have until today, Wednesday, 13 September, to object and/or have their say about Article 4.
Shayna and Paul Smith from Efailnewydd have a holiday home and second home caretaker business and a holiday changeover business between them.
Shayna said: “Without these, we wouldn’t be able to afford to live here. We also wouldn’t be able to pay other local people for supplies or for their work, be it cleaners, labourers, tradespeople etc.
“All of us in this Facebook group want to see a better Gwynedd for everyone regardless if they are Welsh or English or any other.
“This isn’t just about homes, this is about why hasn’t the council built any affordable homes, what are they doing with the money raised in council tax premiums and most importantly the potential damage if not destruction of our local economy.”
Group member Dafyn Jones said: “The optics from Gwynedd are seemingly laser focussed on in-comers, making them the ogres.
“But the reality is that this legislation will have little effect on the high rollers, but will actively make the average home owner poorer, whilst making it even more difficult for young people to get on the property ladder as lenders are pulling up the ladder on mortgages on any properties that have caveats on their potential sale.
“This blanket, punitive move has not been thought out and I worry for anyone who is being caught out.”
Fred Foskett, 84, has lived in Gwynedd for 50 years. He founded Harlech Foodservice Ltd with his late brother.
He said: “What has not been recognised is this planning document only applies to half the county as Snowdonia National Park has its own planning authority who’ve no intention of following Gwynedd Council down this path.
“This is an absolutely ridiculous intolerable situation that one half of the county may be subject to these draconian measures and the other is scot-free.
“I am normally a fairly tolerant character but I am incandescent with the council and its largely incompetent staff who don’t appear to have any ideas of growing this economy and increasing its wealth to allow its population to buy a home.”
The petition highlights a number of concerns, and states that residents will be less likely to be able to re-mortgage their homes, Article 4 will have a negative impact on tourism and tourism-related jobs, and campaigners believe the plan is contrary to Article 8 of the human rights act.
The petition has 2,568 signatures so far and can be found at tinyurl.com/GwyneddArticle4
Cllr Dafydd Meurig said Gwynedd has the highest percentage of second homes and short-term holiday accommodation in Wales and more recent research shows on average 65.5 per cent of the population of Gwynedd are being priced out of the housing market, with the percentage increasing substantially in areas where there are higher numbers of holiday homes.
“The council is currently carrying out a public engagement exercise on this matter and is urging members of the public to submit their views by 13 September,” he said.
“Details about how to submit views are available on gwynedd.llyw.cymru/Article4
“All comments received during the public engagement period will receive appropriate consideration and form part of a report that will be presented to the council’s cabinet as they make their final decision regarding whether or not to confirm the Article 4 Direction.
“Implementing an Article 4 Direction to control second homes and short-term holiday lets would be a first for a planning authority in Wales.
“However, as a council, we are firmly of the view that it is a step that should be considered as part of a wider package of measures to address the housing crisis we face in Gwynedd.”
Dwyfor Meirionnydd MS Mabon ap Gwynfor said: “‘I welcome this consultation on Article 4 and would encourage as many people as possible to participate in the process.
“The issue has garnered considerable response, especially in those areas where there is a significant amount of second homes and short term lets.
“But the truth is that the current situation is completely unsustainable, and action must be taken to stop the proliferation of second homes and short-term lets.’
“Many long-standing short-term let providers understand that the market is now over saturated.
“The number of short-term lets in the Dwyfor area has doubled in four years. We had 560 in 2018 and by 2022 the number stood at 1,127 properties. This mushrooming of the sector has damaged the long-standing providers and is damaging our communities.
“House prices here are now nearly 10 times the average household income, and this is in part because people with money can afford to pay more and outbid young families who want to stay and live in their communities.
“In some communities the number of second homes and short-term lets account for half the housing stock. That is completely untenable.
“So, I welcome the fact that Gwynedd Council are exploring options on actions that could be taken to rebalance the housing market and ensure that our communities continue to be vibrant, living communities.”
Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts said: “The open housing market continues to fail our Welsh-speaking communities, and key rural services such as health and social care are becoming increasingly difficult to provide as housing for key workers is unaffordable across much of the county.
“Doing nothing is to condone the crisis in our rural communities as it becomes increasingly difficult for people to live where they were brought up and where they work. I urge everyone to engage with Cyngor Gwynedd’s consultation.”