Cyngor Gwynedd to decide on regulating the use of homes as second homes and short-term holiday accommodation

July 2024 | Arfor, Featured, Rural poverty

a group of buildings by the water

Cyngor Gwynedd’s cabinet will meet on 16 July 2024 to consider recommendations to introduce the Article 4 Direction, which will give the council the ability to control the use of homes as second homes and holiday lets. The step would require homeowners to receive panning permission before changing the use of a main home to a second home or short-term holiday accommodation.

This comes following a consultation and public engagement period launched last year, and according to Cyngor Gwynedd they have considered the responses received carefully when considering the proposed policy. In a meeting of the Council’s Community Scrutiny Committee in May of this year, there was discussion of these responses followed by a recommendation to cabinet to go ahead and confirm the Article 4 Direction.

The change comes after the Welsh Government amended the national planning framework by introducing three new classes of use, which are main home, second home and short-term holiday accommodation. It gives councils, as the local planning authority, the ability to change local planning rules to ensure that special planning permission is required to change from one class of use to another.

If the policy is approved by the cabinet, the changes will come into force from 1 September 2024 in the Gwynedd Planning Authority area but not within the boundaries of Eryri National Park. The changes do not require property that is currently being used as a second home or short-term holiday accommodation before 1 September 2024 to apply for planning permission.

In a statement, Dafydd Meurig Cyngor Gwynedd’s Cabinet Member for the Environment said:

‘Cyngor Gwynedd wants to ensure that local people able to access suitable and affordable housing locally – that is key to securing the future of our communities.

Unfortunately, research shows that a significant proportion of people in Gwynedd are priced out of the housing market and that is more evident in communities with higher numbers of holiday homes.

It is therefore inevitable that the significant number of houses being used as second homes and short-term holiday accommodation is affecting the ability of the people of Gwynedd to access homes in their communities.

By introducing an Article 4 Direction, the Council would have a new tool to try to control the impact of second homes and holiday accommodation. The change would require owners to submit a planning application for changing the use of residential properties into second homes or short-term holiday accommodation.

Should the Council decide to go ahead, Gwynedd would become the first Planning Authority to use these new planning powers introduced by the Government.

Detailed work has been carried out over the past year to set out the case for the change to be made and we are very grateful to everyone who took part during the public engagement period.

The comments have received careful consideration in the Council’s Communities Scrutiny Committee and the Cabinet will now consider all evidence when deciding if it is to confirm the implementation of the Article 4 Direction from September onwards.’

You can learn more about the Article 4 Direction by following this link to Cyngor Gwynedd’s website.

Sign up to receive our free news bulletin

Register today if you would like to receive a regular email containing the latest Observatory articles.

Choose a language

You have successfully subscribed

Share This