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Second homes crisis will create "lost generation" of young people

Mabon ap Gwynfor (Image: Plaid Cymru). Tyddyn (Image: Gwalia).

The displacement of young people from their communities will worsen unless the Welsh Government acts, Plaid Cymru has warned.

Plaid Cymru says that around 40 per cent of houses that go on the market every year in Gwynedd are now bought as second homes, which is causing a substantial rise in house prices.

Plaid's Housing and Planning spokesperson Mabon ap Gwynfor warned that "the overuse of properties as second homes in communities across Wales is driving local people out of the property market, putting unacceptable pressures on local services in peak season, and creating desolate, half-empty towns and villages in winter."

The MS for Dwyfor-Meirionnydd has called on Julie James MS who is responsible for housing in the Welsh Government to take urgent action on the matter.

He added that the government must provide "transparency and detail" on what actions it will take to mitigate the crisis, and described the situation as being ‘at crisis point’.

"Forced to leave their square mile"

Mr ap Gwynfor said: “The Welsh Government has promised action on second homes before, during and after the election – we need transparency and detail now on what this will be.

“If the government continues to hesitate and take half measures, there’s a threat the crisis will leave in its wake a lost generation of young people forced to leave their square mile due to being priced out of the area in which they were born and raised.

“Plaid Cymru wants to see direct interventions to mitigate the crisis, such as changes to planning laws to allow councils to impose a cap on the number of second homes, close the loophole that allows second homeowners to register their property as “businesses” in order to avoid paying the council tax premium, and the bringing forward of regulations to treble the Land Transaction Tax charge on the purchase of second properties.

“The government commissioned Dr Simon Brooks to look into the matter and make recommendations. The Government needs to find a way of implementing some or all these recommendations urgently.

“This is not confined to a few isolated far away communities. This crisis has a knock-on effect on every community, and therefore is of national importance.

“We owe it to the young people in these communities to solve this crisis and allow them to stay in the area they call home.”



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