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Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Published at 10:34 GMT

UK: Wales

Plaid calls for second home controls

Second home-buyers distort the market claim opponents

On the day the Queen outlines the government's legislative programme for the next session of Parliament, Plaid Cymru has called for legal controls on second homes.

The party says local authorities should be given powers to limit the number of holiday properties in an area.

BBC Wales's Roger Pinney: "A third of all the properties in Llanbedrog are holiday homes"
But opponents of the idea say it rakes up old hostilities.

The village of Llanbedrog near Pwllheli on the Llyn Peninsular is popular with tourists and second home-owners too.

A recent survey revealed that a third of all the properties here are holiday homes.

Pam Boreham and her family first bought a property in this area 20 years ago. She says second home-owners bring benefits.

Elfyn Llwyd MP: "We need to make sure the local community is able to thrive"
"They bring money which is really desperately needed. Little shops would have a hard time if the holiday home-owners didn't come down here," she said.

But those calling for controls argue the purchasing power of second home-buyers distort the property market in places like Llanbedrog.

"A terraced house starts here at about 31,000 and goes up to 50,000," said Victor Jones of Llanbedrog Community Council.

"It's very difficult for local people to find that sort of money."

Sensitive areas of Wales

Supporters of controls say this is an issue which affects small rural communities across Britain.

Plaid Cymru MP Elfyn Llwyd agrees the issue is a big problem across the UK.

"Everyone on every side of the argument accepts it's a big problem," he said.

"There will be seaside towns which are not sensitive areas where you will find lots of second homes.

"I am not saying anything about this. Neither am I saying we should penalise people who wish to sell properties.

"I am saying that in certain areas of Wales there are sensitive areas."

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