Second Homes – The Developing new policies in Wales report by Dr Simon Brooks original aim was to prepare a brief report focussing on the comparison between public policy solutions based on taxation policy (Wales) and planning policy (Cornwall). However, due to the increasing interest in this subject area, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Mental Health, Well-being and Welsh Language asked if the research could be expanded in order to scrutinise some wider issues regarding second homes and to make policy recommendations.
The report builds on previous papers within this policy area dating back to the 1970s. It also encompasses the findings of the report recently published by Gwynedd and Anglesey Joint Planning Committee, in relation to holiday homes, again strengthening the evidence base on this issue.
It also sets out the policy context of the second homes debate, highlighting that second homes and associated issues are not a pan-Wales phenomenon. Rather, it suggests, regional or local interventions are required.
Commissioned by Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and Academi Hywel Teifi the report notes, we are currently in unprecedented times with the devastating effects of COVID-19 and the uncertainties of the full impact of leaving the European Union on our economy, as well as the many challenges our communities are facing.
The Welsh Government is keen to find balanced and practicable whole-system solutions to ensure that our young people are able to continue to live in their local communities, as well as ensuring communities’ long-term sustainability and vitality.
Since the pandemic, we’ve seen growing concerns about the effects that large numbers of second homes can have on some of our communities and, in particular, on the long-term sustainability of our Welsh-speaking heartlands.