Wednesday, September 06, 2006

England leads the way on housing issue

This letter by Dewi Owen Jones, published in the Daily Post, highlights the need for a Welsh housing policy which focuses on meeting local needs.

As in Wales, parts of the Yorkshire Dales have become awash with second-homes and holiday lets. This has caused house prices to rocket and forced local first-time buyers out of the area. The difference, however, is that the planning policies of the Yorkshire Dales National Park are now aimed at creating affordable homes for locals and limiting the number of new housing developments for non-locals.

But where's the Welsh equivalent? Why aren't our villages and towns being protected against the ravages of the property market? Something needs to de done to halt the destruction of our small Welsh communities before they turn into mere holiday resorts for wealthy outsiders.

I write to you in the light of the recent announcement of a planned development of 50 new houses in the village of Chwilog, Eifionydd, by an English-based brewery.

It takes little imagination to foresee the effects such a development would have on such a small, mainly Welsh-speaking community.

I refuse to believe that there exists a genuine need for 50 new homes in Chwilog and even if that was proven to be the case, there is no assurance that local people would take precedence when these homes came on the market.

I strongly believe that planning conditions should reflect the needs of the local community - socially, environmentally and linguistically. Planning permission should not be given where it could be damaging to the community, the environment or the Welsh language.

I would like to draw your readers’ attention to the planning rules used by the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The main objectives of their Local Plan are:

1. Meeting the needs of the local community, with special regards for their need for affordable housing.

2. Resisting any new development that is aimed at satisfying housing needs from outside the National Park.

3. Ensuring that housing provision is in sites that are environmentally acceptable.

4. Giving precedence to re-using already developed land through, for example, conversion of existing buildings.

I would like to see Gwynedd Council adopting the Yorkshire Dales’ planning policies in order to protect our communities from damaging developments.

Dewi Owen Jones, on behalf of Cymuned


At 9:36 PM, Blogger Wynne Jones said...

Quite by chance, Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg have today posted a news item on the proposed development of a large housing estate in the small Teifi Valley village of Pont-Tyweli, Carmarthenshire. They conclude by saying:

"Cymdeithas yr Iaith are calling for a Property Act for Wales. The proposed Property Act is a comprehensive measure that deals with every aspect of the housing crisis which is undermining communities across Wales be that unreasonable house prices, a severe lack of rented accommodation, or dangerous large scale developments. Cymdeithas yr Iaith believes that such a measure is fundamental if we are to secure a viable future for our Welsh speaking communities."

Well said.

Full story:

At 12:54 PM, Blogger Rhys Wynne said...

(nothing to do with post)

thougth you might like this sign in Wrecsam:


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