A GWYNEDD Council cabinet report on June 13 will request to start a process that would enable the local authority to control the use of houses as second homes and holiday lets.

This concerns the Gwynedd Local Planning Authority Area, and does not include the Eryri National Park Authority Area.

Following calls from the council for a number of years, Welsh Government confirmed a series of measures last year to address the impact of second homes and short-term holiday accommodation on communities.

Some of those measures have now been implemented.


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Among them, planning legislation has been amended which means that local planning authorities can introduce an article four direction to control the use of houses as second homes and holiday accommodation.

Cllr Dafydd Meurig, cabinet member for environment, said: “Gwynedd Council, along with organisations like Hawl i Fyw Adra and Cymdeithas yr Iaith, have tirelessly called on the Welsh Government for years to tackle the increase in holiday homes across the county, and the effect that is having on our communities.

"Detailed research was presented by our Planning Policy Service highlighting the fact that our residents are being priced out of the housing market, and identifying areas where the Government could act to gain better control of the situation.

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"Indeed, recent research has shown that, on average, 65.5 per cent of Gwynedd’s population is priced out of the housing market, with the percentage increasing significantly in areas where there are higher numbers of holiday homes.

“There was recognition of the real challenge facing our communities last year as the Welsh Government announced a series of measures in the field of planning, taxation and licensing to try to get better control of the situation.

"Since then, the Government has amended the planning regulations, introducing three new planning use classes, namely main home, second home and short-term holiday accommodation.

“The report that will be considered by the council's cabinet outlines the strong evidence base in the Gwynedd Local Planning Authority Area to reform the planning system locally by presenting what is known as an article four direction.

"This would make it necessary to submit an application for planning permission to change from one use to another and help the council in protecting our housing stock and supporting Gwynedd’s residents to have access to houses that are within their reach in our communities.

“Gwynedd would be the first authority in Wales to introduce the change, and placing an article four direction to control the use of houses as second homes or short-term holiday accommodation will be unprecedented.

"We are therefore pleased that the Welsh Government has committed to providing financial support that will enable us to appoint additional planning officers to deal with the extra workload.

“If the cabinet supports the proposal, we will look to advertise jobs in the coming months and promote these exciting opportunities in due course."

If the cabinet consents, the council will then place a notice of the article four direction, and hold a period of public engagement on the proposal.