CLA Cymru responds to the Welsh Government’s announcement here.
“Farmers and rural business-owners who have created tourist accommodation should not be the unintended victims of the Welsh Government’s Three Pronged Approach to address what it refers to as a second-homes crisis in parts of Wales,” says CLA Cymru.
“The Welsh Government needs to make sure that businesses vital to the economy are not the unintended victims in an initiative to reduce second-home ownership. This could backfire and stifle our much-needed economic recovery. A full impact assessment on wider parts of the economy must be carried-out.”
Director, Nigel Hollett explains, “Many Welsh farmers have been forced to diversify to make ends-meet, and others have chosen to invest time and capital in holiday let businesses. Those properties may never have been intended to be – or may be unsuitable for - year-round dwellings. As it is, these businesses are fighting to recover from the three-winter year created by successive and prolonged lockdown, and already they are facing the prospect of a tourism tax. Tourism has been Wales’s fastest-growing economic sector and the Welsh Government must ensure businesses here receive a fair deal in competition with other UK destinations.”
Nigel adds, “The Welsh Government needs to address the housing crisis and must focus on the vital positive role played by private landowners in rural Wales. Here some landowners want to release land for housing but are forever stymied by a planning system delivering poorly towards the housing issue. Equally, the Welsh Government must do more to prevent valuable rented housing being lost owing to highly impractical demands that traditionally-built cottages be upgraded to meet demanding energy efficiency standards. Clearly a plan must be made to release the potential in the rural environment.”