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Last Updated: Friday, 3 October, 2003, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
House prices 'exodus' warning
Gwennan Davies
Gwennan Davies thinks Anglesey council should do more to help

Gwennan Davies says she may be forced to leave Wales to start a new life in Australia because she is so frustrated by spiralling house prices in her home area.

Scores of people turned up at meetings in north and west Wales on Friday to tell Welsh assembly members they wanted help to buy affordable homes.

Gwennan, 20, says she is like many other young people in rural Wales who find it impossible to take the first vital step onto the property ladder.

The assembly's regional committees for both areas had appealed to people in Pwllheli and St David's to attend the first in a series of roadshows exploring the problems of rural Wales.

Those taking part included the Welsh language pressure group Cymuned, local councils, the Chartered Institute of Housing, and the Welsh Federation of Housing Associations.

Gwenna, who works for a Bangor estate agent and lives on her family's farm in Llanddona, Anglesey, said the housing situation was disheartening.

"It has been getting me down quite a lot," she said.

I don't think I should have to move away - my family has been here for over 100 years
Gwennan Davies
"To stay in the area is going to cost 200,000, which is out of my price range."

Gwennan said only three or four homes in a row of ten neighbouring houses had full-time occupants.

"The others are holiday homes. People are buying properties in this area and it's going against me."

"I don't think I should have to move away - my family has been here for over 100 years."

She has applied to Anglesey council for planning permission to build a three-bedroom house near her home, but says she is pessimistic.

"Moving away looks like it will be the only option in the end."

She says she may have to live in a city like Manchester or Liverpool, or go even further afield to Australia, which she recently visited.

"The wages in Australia are about the same, but the cost of living is less."

'Severe crisis'

Points raised in all the regional meetings will be passed on to the assembly's environment, planning and countryside committee, which has launched an inquiry into the issue.

A similar session will be held for mid Wales at the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells, on 10 October.

Plaid Cymru north Wales AM Janet Ryder, who chairs the assembly's regional committee for north Wales, said: "Young people in north Wales are finding it increasingly difficult to afford to stay in their communities, particularly in areas like Pwllheli and elsewhere in Lleyn, and this is an issue the assembly must tackle."

On Tuesday, Gwynedd council commissioned a report into a scheme to help young people build their own houses by selling them cheap plots of land.

It was the idea of Plaid Cymru councillor Elwyn Edwards, who represents the Llandderfel ward, who said there was "a severe crisis in the housing market in Gwynedd."

Other areas of rural Wales are affected and a recent survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors revealed that four out of 10 farms sold between April and June 2003 in Wales went to non-farmers.


SEE ALSO:
Protest over Welsh home sales
26 Nov 02  |  Wales
'Solution' to housing crisis
30 Sep 03  |  North West Wales


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