A WELSH village is likely to be sold in the next few weeks.
There were hopes of a national campaign to try and buy Aberllefenni, near Corris, but these have been dashed after it was revealed that owners, Winslate, are on the verge of completing a sale with the – as yet – unannounced owners.
Now, the public who showed such an interest in buying the village are being urged to channel the growing momentum for new answers in other directions.
‘Yes, of course it’s disappointing on one level to hear this news, but we now have to make constructive use of the strong public response we received to our idea of a public buy-up’ said GWLAD Leader, Gwyn Wigley Evans.
‘In a sense, this level of public support for the idea is indicative of people’s frustration with the housing situation, and their anger with our established parties, who have not addressed this issue at all over the years.’
Mr. Evans said the public should be asking searching questions why the Labour/Plaid block in Cardiff Bay did not want to really tackle the issue.
‘Is it because some of their leading lights are multiple house owners themselves, with two, three or even four homes to their names? ‘ he said.
‘Is it therefore, too much of a hot potato for them to handle’?
Mr Evans added that GWLAD would strive to make housing a key issue at next year’s Welsh Election – with policies based on the realities of the housing market in Wales today.
Allied to adopting some good practices already in place elsewhere.
‘You are not allowed to buy/build second homes in St Ives, Cornwall or the Lake District’ he said.
‘In East Riding, Yorkshire, you have to pay a 500% council tax if you have a holiday home there.’
‘If we ask for any of these, we are called racist. Let’s be clear about this. We don’t care where these second home owners come from – we just don’t want it’!
He said the pressure on communities was also worsening because of a growing push for houses in Wales for personal residential use as well.
‘We know that a massive amount of individual houses have been sold recently, with more people from over the border wanting to live here and work from home.’
‘For instance, one estate agent in the Aberaeron area sold 54 houses in one week recently, which was the biggest amount ever in one week apparently’
He added that people needed to come together informally to campaign on the housing crisis facing Wales.
‘We ask people to keep their eyes and their ears open as to what’ s going on in their communities, and liaise with other communities as well’
‘And of course, use their vote next year to support real, radical changes to the housing situation here’.