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Pembrokeshire Politics

Welsh Government’s 182 day occupancy rule raised with Local MS

A RECENT change in occupancy rules for furnished holiday lets has been raised with Senedd Member Paul Davies, by a Pembrokeshire business. 

Mr Davies called in with Ian and Carol Pattinson of Discover Walking Pembrokeshire at their property who explained to him the impact that the change was having on their business and urged him to continue to oppose the proposals at the Senedd.

Mr Davies said: “I’m very thankful to Ian and Carol for allowing me to visit their business to explain the impact that changes to occupancy rates rules are having on their business. Their business is one of many across Pembrokeshire that will be negatively impacted as a direct result of this rule change and it’s very frustrating to see that the Welsh Government has not listened to businesses like theirs.

“Instead, Ministers in Cardiff Bay have pushed ahead with these changes, in spite of strong opposition from the industry.

“Pushing businesses like this is not the way to solve the housing stock crisis and could seriously threaten our tourism industry. I’ll continue to work with colleagues at the Senedd to oppose this rule and encourage the Welsh Government to rethink these regulations, in light of the damaging impact they’re having on businesses like Ian and Carol’s.”

Ian Pattinson said: “Like my own, many self-catering properties cannot be sold separately: many are unsuited for use as permanent dwellings and many are away from the areas of employment. So they cannot contribute positively to the housing stock issue.

“I read many of the pleading inputs offered by small, rural, self-caterers during one of the consultation phases and was deeply touched by the emotion voiced by those who saw only the end of the road for their much loved, family businesses. The Welsh Government are not listening and seem hell bent only on raising money and damn the consequences.

“On a personal note, I might be close to the 182-occupancy level but that does not mean that I am not deeply affected by it or that it is not impacting my whole quality of life. Every day it occupies my mind, I count the bookings I have and wonder if/when the next booking might arrive.

“At best these spiteful, callous, punitive, and poorly targeted measures will drive many legitimate businesses to the wall and at worst, I genuinely fear that the mental anguish caused by the very real threat of Premium Council Tax will push some, over the edge.”