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New policies on second homes in prospect in Wales

Words: Roger Milne
Second home ownership / iStock-497230721

Climate change minister Julie James announced this week that part of Wales will become a pilot area for new measures such as changes to tax and planning regulations in a bid to tackle Wales’s second homes crisis.

Once the yet-to-be decided measures have been trialled they will be potentially rolled out across the country.

The administration is looking at changing planning rules and making all holiday accommodation owners register their properties as such.

National and local taxation schemes could be put in place to “ensure second home owners make a fair and effective contribution to the communities in which they buy”.

Officials are looking at a scheme in Scotland which proposes a licensing scheme for holiday lets that will allow a local authority to limit numbers of such properties.

Plans to create a registration scheme for all holiday accommodation and a consultation on changes to local taxes will begin over the summer.

A Welsh Language Community Housing Plan, to protect the particular interests of Welsh-language communities, will be published for consultation in the autumn.

The minister told AMs: “To address the issue of second homes, we will provide for better management of additional second homes and short-term holiday lets through changes to the regulatory framework and system.

“Parts of the system need to change, and we will change them. We will establish a statutory registration scheme for all holiday accommodation, including short-term lets. We will consider the legal complexities of how we can test changes to the planning system, and I am also determined that all systems either in place or explored will champion social justice.”

Image credit | iStock