chester

Chester 01244 405 555

Grosvenor Court
Foregate Street Chester
Cheshire CH1 1HG
DX: 19990 Chester

shrewsbury

Shrewsbury 01743 443043

Lakeside House
Oxon Business Park
Shrewsbury SY3 5HJ
DX: 148563 Shrewsbury 14

Slide e

Airport City, Manchester 0161 537 3324

Offices 204 and 205
Manchester Business Park
3000 Aviator Way
Manchester M22 5TG

9th August, 2022

New Measures Announced to Control the Number of Second Homes in Wales


Mark Turner, Partner and member of the Planning, Environment, Energy and Regulatory team, discusses the current issue surrounding second homes in Wales.

Concerns surrounding the rising number of second homes has forced the Welsh Government to act. In July a series of measures were announced that it hopes will improve the ability for local people to afford to buy or rent homes in their community.

The new measures include changes to current regulations, which will introduce three new planning use classes:

i. A primary home.
ii. A second home.
iii. Short-term holiday accommodation.

These changes will enable local planning authorities, in situations where they have sufficient evidence, to make amendments in their areas and require people to seek planning permission for a change of use from one class to another – for example, an individual planning to use their primary home as a holiday let would have to obtain permission before doing so.

Whilst not clarified as of yet, it is expected that when considering such an application, authorities will take into account the number of holiday lets in that area, as well as the local availability of housing to rent or buy.

Efforts to solve this problem had already been made by the Welsh Government, with the new changes following previous measures introduced earlier in 2022, that included granting councils the power to increase council tax premiums on second and empty homes.

These measures have been introduced in response to concerns that locals were being priced out of the property market and that rural locations were facing a housing crisis as a result of second home ownership.

Solving the issue though is not as simple as it first seems. Tourism is responsible for a great deal of the Welsh economy, amounting to approximately £6.3 billion per year. As such, tourism business owners have expressed concerns about the measures, including that there is not enough time for businesses to prepare for the changes, and furthermore, that the Welsh Government had not sufficiently defined what constitutes a second home.

It is my view that the changes to the planning use classes are unlikely to be effective, as it is going to be very difficult for local authorities to police the changes, given that all planning departments are severely understaffed. This is particularly relevant in relation to enforcing breaches and my suspicion is that if somebody does not seek consent for a change of use when they should, under resourced local authority planning teams won’t have the capacity to take any enforcement action in any event.

The new planning regulations are expected to come into force by the end of the summer. If you would like further advice on the issue, please get in touch directly or via the online form below.

No Profile Picture Website

Mark Turner - Partner


  Email Me
  07989 727768


Contact Us

You might also be interested in...

Why it pays to seek legal advice before undertaking a new development

12th September, 2022

Partner and Planning Lawyer, Mark Turner, discusses a long running case that highlights not only how seeking legal... Read More »

Employment Law Newsletter – August 2022

5th August, 2022

Welcome to the latest edition of our Employment Law Newsletter. If you would like discuss any of the... Read More »

What the Decision on Holiday Pay for Part-Year Workers Means for Employers

2nd August, 2022

The Supreme Court has recently issued its long-awaited decision in the case of Harpur Trust v Brazel. This... Read More »

Contact Us