New planning laws, a statutory licensing scheme and proposals to change land transaction tax will be included in a package of measures to address second homes in Wales.
The Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru includes a commitment to tackle the issue of second homes affecting many communities in Wales.
The package of measures being announced today includes:
- Changes to planning regulations by the end of the summer. These will introduce three new planning use classes – a primary home, a second home and short-term holiday accommodation. Local planning authorities, where they have evidence, will be able to make amendments to the planning system to require planning permission for change of use from one class to another. We will also introduce changes to national planning policy to give local authorities the ability to control the number of second homes and holiday lets in any community.
- Plans to introduce a statutory licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation, including short-term holiday lets, making it a requirement to obtain a license. This will help raise standards across the tourism industry.
- Following a consultation about varying land transaction tax locally in areas with large numbers of second homes, work will start today (Monday 4 July) with local authorities to develop a national framework so they can request increased land transaction tax rates for second homes and holiday lets to be applied in their local area.
The Welsh Government has already introduced a range of measures to address the issue of second homes, including giving councils the discretionary power to increase council tax premiums on second and empty homes.