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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 September, 2003, 12:59 GMT 13:59 UK
AM tackles rural houses plight
Houses in many rural areas are too costly for local people
The problem of providing affordable housing for first time buyers in rural areas will be debated at the Welsh assembly on Wednesday.

The Montgomeryshire AM, Mick Bates, says a growing number of young people are being priced out of their communities and claims that action needs to be taken.

There are also complaints that planners are blocking buyers from building homes in rural areas.

Mr Bates said the younger generations are under pressure because they cannot afford to buy.

"You can imagine the emotional problems it causes," he said.

"These people are young, often welsh speaking, and want to stay in their communities."

"We need to create and enable the rules to work for them.

"That's what we need to do as a government and that's what my debate will be demanding today."

Many people in rural Wales have seen their incomes fail to keep pace with rising house prices.

Assembly Member Mick Bates
Assembly Member Mick Bates says we need to help young people
Improved transport links have made once-isolated villages increasingly popular with commuters, while the growing number of people retiring to rural communities has also pushed up prices.

Freelance business advisor Huw Tudor wants to build a house on his parents' land in Llanerfyl, Powys.

But he says he cannot because planning rules state that the land is outside the village boundary.

Mr Tudor said he believed planning laws were forcing young people like himself to move away from the areas where they grew up.

"I can't afford any plot in the village or any houses - the prices have just gone up and up," he said.

The average wage in Montgomeryshire is 19,000 and there's a plot going in the village going for 80,000 so we just can't afford it. "

He said a lot of people had moved into the area and were travelling to work in the Midlands, and people like him couldn't compete against their high wages .

"Five or ten years ago the houses were half the price they are now - it's impossible."

The Affordable Housing in Rural Communities debate will take at the Welsh Assembly on Wednesday between 1400 BST and 1730BST.

Ban to tackle rural traffic
22 Sep 03  |  Mid Wales
Rural young on housing plight
11 Sep 03  |  Mid Wales

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