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Council would welcome extra powers to deal with second homes

PCC County Hall

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL has said it is in favour of additional legislation which would help address second homes and holiday lets in the county.

That is part of the council’s response to consultation on planning legislation for second homes, which is due to be discussed at Cabinet on Monday (Feb 14).

Pembrokeshire currently has the second highest number of second homes in Wales, after Gwynedd, but the numbers have remained stable over the last four years.

The Council is also aware of an increase in the numbers of holiday lets, with the number doubling between 2016 and 2021.

Whilst the council has said it would welcome extras powers, it also expressed concerns around the ability of the authority to demonstrate that a home is a second home.

The council also said that they ‘recognise’ the need for ‘urgent action’ to address affordability challenges and the impacts of holiday lets.

In October 2021, the council voted to implement a council tax rise on second home owners and is also working on an affordable housing strategy.

In its response, the Council says it would be possible to amend legislation in the same manner as the Scottish Government whereby they have changed the use classes order.

It also sets out a number of scenarios where the use of a dwelling could become unclear, such as someone working from home from their second home, asking at what point it would be classed as a person’s primary home.

Also at Monday’s Cabinet meeting, members will be discussing its Enhancing Pembrokeshire grants.

The money from second home council tax is put into a pot which is then given out to various community projects across Pembrokeshire.

The grant panel considered 35 applications at its meeting in January with all bar one being approved.

Projects range from new lighting at St Ishamaels Sports and Social Club to the refurbishment of clubhouse and alterations to the changing rooms at Tenby AFC.

In total, over £500,000 has been granted to projects across the county.

Cabinet members are being asked to endorse the decisions made by the grants panel.