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Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 08:40 GMT
Protest over Welsh home sales
Bethlehem, Carmarthen
Welsh communities are under threat, says Cymuned
Welsh language pressure group Cymuned is holding a protest over housing outside an estate agency on the English border which sells property in north Wales.

Demonstrators plan to voice concerns about Welsh-speaking areas being developed for commuters from England when they make their stand on Tuesday.


It's a travesty that the assembly isn't prepared to intervene to ensure that local people have first choice in the housing market

Gruff Roberts, Cymuned

The demonstration is the first of a series of pickets aimed at highlighting Cymuned's concerns at the state of the housing market in Welsh-speaking areas.

Protests have also being staged in Pwllheli, Porthmadog, Caernarfon and Bangor.

Members are angry that homes in places such as the Vale of Clwyd are being advertised to people over the border.

They say the prices of properties are often too high for people in Wales.

They also believe the Welsh Assembly Government should intervene to ensure local people have first choice in the housing market.

Concerns

Cymuned has stressed that, without official intervention, an influx of non-Welsh speakers could occur and have a devastating impact on the language

Gruff Roberts, organiser of the Vale of Clwyd branch of Cymuned, said the Chester protest was a way of illustrating the group's concerns.

"This is a perfect example of how Wales is on sale, with the housing market based on the needs of English cities like Chester rather than on the needs of our own people," he said.

"An awful amount of property from the Vale of Clwyd and north-east Wales is on sale there.

assembly chamber
Campaigners want the assembly to take action

"It is proof of how Welsh-speaking communities in Denbighshire, the Conwy Valley and other parts of north Wales near the A55 are being developed as commuter country for the north-west of England.

"This is having a devastating effect on the Welsh language.

"Property in Gwynedd and Anglesey is also on sale there, houses in villages like Morfa Nefyn and Garndolbenmaen.

"They are going for prices far beyond what people in Wales can afford: 230,00 for a house in Y Felinheli, 225,000 for a house in Harlech."

"It's a travesty that the assembly isn't prepared to intervene to ensure that local people have first choice in the housing market."

Earlier this year, Cymuned members flew to Switzerland to press their case for supporting minority groups.

The group gave evidence to the United Nations Committee's working group on minorities about the threat to Welsh-speaking communities in rural areas.


More from north east Wales
See also:

13 Feb 02 | Wales
06 Jan 01 | Wales
08 Aug 00 | Wales
04 Jun 00 | Wales
Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


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