The Welsh government is announcing new “urgent” measures to tackle the growing number of second homes – with some villagers warning that the country risks losing its “traditions, history and people” if no action is taken.
Housing Minister Julie James will unveil a number of policies today.
They include proposals to increase the number of affordable housing, potentially limit the number of second homes allowed in certain areas and allow local communities to increase the housing tax premium they can charge homeowners. secondary up to 200%.
The county of southwest Pembrokeshire is a tourist hotspot and has the second largest number of second homes in Wales.
The village of Lower Solva is the most affected: around 75% of the properties are either second homes or vacation rentals.
“Wales is not a theme park – people really live here – that’s where our life is,” says Josh Phillips, owner of the Harbor Inn.
“We are not a tourist attraction to admire and it is becoming increasingly difficult for young people to stay put and live in the communities where their parents lived.”
He told Sky News that the village is like a ghost town in the winter, when the majority of the houses are empty.
“We’re sort of selling our soul and losing our traditions, our history and our people, which is sad to see – especially for young people trying to enter the housing market – it’s almost impossible.” , said Phillips.
“It’s almost as if the people of Pembrokeshire are too poor to live in Pembrokeshire.”
The county already charges owners of second homes a housing tax 50% higher than the normal rate, with around 3,600 properties affected.
A program that the government wants to see more of allows this housing tax to be used to build affordable rental housing, especially for …
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This notice was published: 2021-07-06 00:21:00