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Wednesday, 7 November, 2001, 14:50 GMT
Plaid plan to curb second homes
Bethlehem in Camarthenshire, west Wales
Plaid have called for a "mature debate" on holiday homes
Plaid Cymru has unveiled details of its parliamentary bid to curb the growth of second homes in Wales.

MP for Ceredigion Simon Thomas is sponsoring a Bill that would allow councils to set up registers of second homes.

Local authorities would be able to limit the numbers in their
Simon Thomas MP
Simon Thomas is sponsoring Plaid Cymru's Bill
areas, double the amount of council tax paid by holiday home owners and restrict the right-to-buy of tenants in rural areas.

The Bill puts into action many of the recommendations of Plaid Cymru's task force on housing, which reported earlier this year but is unlikely to stave of criticism.

But Mr Thomas's Bill, which will be introduced in the Commons on 30 November, stands little chance of becoming law.

The proposals come after Exmoor National Park looks set to pave the way for a UK wide policy re-think on second home ownership.

The park authority is considering proposals that could make it the first national park in the UK to stop outsiders from buying a holiday home in the region due to the sharp rise in property prices.

Affordable housing

In June, Plaid Cymru's rural housing taskforce published a report recommending changes in planning law to protect Welsh-speaking areas.

It said land should be allocated for affordable local housing, called for grants for locals to buy houses and recommends council tax on holiday homes should double.

The Plaid Rural Taskforce Chairman Dafydd Wigley AM said the proposals should be implemented within a year to save the "crisis" in rural Wales.

But the plan drew criticism from the Liberal Democrats.

Party housing spokesman Peter Black AM said the plan pandered to nationalists who wanted to keep out incomers.

See also:

08 Aug 01 | Business
Property prices: county by county
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