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Call for greater powers protecting Ceredigion from second homes impact

PROTECTING Ceredigion from the impact of second homes is behind a call for greater powers to control numbers and locations from the Welsh Government.

Ceredigion County Councillor Mark Strong put forward a Notice of Motion before Christmas calling for a planning clause requiring approval before turning a residential home into a holiday home, add a maximum threshold of holiday lets in any one area and including a requirement for permission before changing a second home into a holiday or AirBnB business.

Cllr Strong has written a report supporting this, assisted by council officers, with evidence to present to the council before it makes a final decision on the motion, which he recommends goes to scrutiny committee first.

He said at full council on Thursday (January 21) “the information provided by officers states that the number of second homes is high enough that we can ask to look at the impact.”

The data showed that Ceredigion had the fifth-highest number of second homes in Wales with a number of other local authorities have raised concerns about the detrimental impact these homes have on communities, he said.

New Quay ward has the highest level in the county, councillors heard, with 26 per cent second homes, two other wards had ten per cent of houses without fulltime residents and there were ten other wards with five to ten per cent levels, added Cllr Strong.

With changes to the way houses of multiply occupation (HMOs) expected Cllr Strong said the council should lobby for similar policies to control the turning of primary homes into second homes through the planning system.

“There’s plenty of evidence that holiday homes that go out of control can be detrimental to communities, especially coastal communities,” said Cllr Strong.

Council leader, Cllr Ellen ap Gwynn, who had seconded the original motion, added her “100 per cent” support to Cllr Strong.

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