Call for Ceredigion council to make ‘full use’ of new second home powers

By Dylan Davies   |   News editor   |
Wednesday 20th July 2022 12:56 pm
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Housing protest
Cymdeithas yr Iaith held a protest on Trefechan bridge earlier this year in reaction to house prices in rural Wales (Cymdeithas yr Iaith )

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Cymdeithas yr Iaith has written to the Leader of Ceredigion Council calling on him to ‘make full use’ of the new powers to tackle the housing crisis.

It follows an announcement by First Minister Mark Drakeford and Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price last month that local authorities will have more powers to deal with second homes.

The package of measures includes enabling local authorities to set a cap on the number of second homes and holiday accommodation in any community and giving them the power to vary the land transaction tax locally in areas with large numbers of second homes

The Welsh Government had already announced that councils will have the power to raise the higher council tax on second homes to 300 per cent from April next year.

Tamsin Davies on behalf of the Ceredigion branch of Cymdeithas yr Iaith said: "It is good news that this package of measures has been announced. Ceredigion Council now needs to make full use of these new powers.

“We are facing a housing crisis - and increasing the higher council tax to the highest possible level, placing a cap on the percentage of second homes in any community, and requiring planning permission to convert a house into a holiday home are measures that Ceredigion needs to implement as soon as they can.

"Requesting planning permission to turn a residential house or flat into a second home or AirBnB will make a very important difference, given how many tenants are evicted from their homes so that landlords can turn them into accommodation holidays.”

She added: "These are important powers to ensure that more tourist communities do not lose their permanent population. So far Ceredigion council has not used its powers to tackle second homes in full and it is essential that Ceredigion Council takes the lead.

"Nevertheless the systemic problems in the housing market are much wider than just the issue of second homes and holiday accommodation. The problem is just as serious in the rental sector too, unreasonable rents are depriving people of rented homes in their communities. We must therefore seize the opportunity to ensure that the problem is tackled properly with a comprehensive Property Act. "We will use a rally at the Eisteddfod to call on the Ceredigion Council to lobby the Government for a Property Act."

The language campaign group is holding a rally at 2pm on the Thursday of the Eisteddfod in Tregaron to demand that the Government introduce a Property Act.

When asked about Welsh Government plans to increase powers for local authorities, Ceredigion County Council said it ‘welcomes the announcement’, adding: “We will need to consider the details as they emerge and prepare papers in due course for cabinet and council to consider.”

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