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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 August, 2003, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
House prices alarm MP
House sale generic
House prices have increased throughout Wales
Young first-time buyers are being short-changed by county councillors "burying their heads in the sand" over planning guidelines, according to a north Wales MP.

Clwyd West MP Gareth Thomas says house prices in north Wales have rocketed, leaving it difficult for people to put down any roots.

He is urging the council to make it easier for local people build new, affordable housing.

"I have met a number of young people who have told me of the difficulty in finding affordable housing in the area," he said.

"I believe there is an urgency for the relaxation of planning guidelines to make it far easier to attain planning permission."

Housing needs

According to a survey last month house prices in England and Wales remained stable for the second month in succession.

Overall, the survey from property website Hometrack concluded that the housing market was showing tentative signs of recovery with an increase in sales.

"As the cost of housing rockets, which has certainly happened in the space of just under a year, the need for more affordable housing becomes far more pressing," added Mr Thomas.

"That is why planning policies must be re-balanced to allow first time buyers to convert property, such as farm buildings to put them firmly on the ladder."

A spokeswoman for Conwy County Council said they were responding to local housing needs.

Last month a planning application was granted for a family to build a house from a former farm building on the outskirts of Abergele.

The politician has asked for a meeting with Denbighshire and Conwy County Councils to discuss the issue.

House prices 'stagnate'
28 Jul 03  |  Business
Cost of renting 'increases'
28 May 03  |  Business
Welsh house prices up 20%
03 Apr 03  |  Wales

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