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Sir Benfro could double council tax premium on second homes

Second home (Image: Gwalia).

Sir Benfro cabinet members have recommended placing a 100% Council Tax premium on second homes, and to retain the current 100% empty homes premium.

The county currently has the second highest rate of second or empty homes, and long term empty homes, in Cymru.

In 2017 the Council introduced a 50% Council Tax premium on second homes, and a premium of up to 100% on long term empty homes.

Sir Benfro Council said that reducing the number of second homes and long term empty homes is seen as "desirable." It said that increasing the supply of affordable housing across the county is a "priority".

The additional money currently raised in Sir Benfro is being used to support the development of affordable housing, such as a long-term housing project in Solfach, as well as providing grants to local projects through the Enhancing Pembrokeshire Grant fund.

The Council is currently developing an Affording Housing Strategy that will include a range of Low Cost Home Ownership options, and have submitted an Empty Property Action Plan to Welsh Government for consideration.

Councillor Bob Kilmister, Cabinet Member for Finance wanted to thank all those who responded to its consultation which closed in July.

He said: “Following our public consultation, Cabinet met this morning, October 4th and I proposed to recommend a 50 per cent increase in the second home surcharge to full Council, which was agreed.

“While people from elsewhere in the UK find it relatively easy to afford property in Pembrokeshire, it is much more difficult for those living and earning locally.

“A high proportion of second homes in a community also poses a threat to the viability of local schools and opportunities to nurture and grow the Welsh language.”

The final decision will be made by full Council on 14 October 2021.

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