Dyfodol i’r Iaith, the Welsh language lobbying group, is calling for a new Planning Act for Wales. This call comes as a result of the crisis facing young people from Welsh speaking communities when attempting to buy houses and staying in their areas.
Wyn Thomas, a member of the board of Dyfodol i’r Iaith, who has extensively researched the housing crisis in Wales, says,
“The homes of our Welsh-speaking areas are at the mercy of the open market, with almost a half of the housing stock in specific areas used as holiday homes or second homes.
The linguistic impact surveys on new housing schemes are wholly inadequate.
Before a new Act is put in place, there should be transformational investment in the Homebuy Scheme, which is an initiative of the Welsh Government, so that young people can remain in their community.
House prices in the United Kingdom are generally the highest compared to wages in Europe. The situation is more acute in the Welsh-speaking areas, where average pay is relatively low, and incomers are taking over the housing stock. ”
Dyfodol i’r Iaith is calling for a Planning Act that will cap the percentage of holiday homes and second homes in local areas, and give local councils the power to control the housing stock in their areas. Such an Act could also make it necessary to obtain consent before converting a home into a second or holiday home.