The 4th of July saw significant and far-reaching announcements made by the Welsh Government on interventions into the self-catering sector in Wales. The WTA and it's partners have been left stunned by these announcements which follow the 182 day amendment.
In summary, the co-operation agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru is planning to bring forwards the following measures:
Changes to planning regulations by the end of the summer that will introduce three new planning use classes – a primary home, a second home and short-term holiday accommodation. Local planning authorities, where they have evidence, will be able to make amendments to the planning system to require planning permission for change of use from one class to another. They will also introduce changes to national planning policy to give local authorities the 'ability' to control the number of second homes and holiday lets in any community.
Plans to introduce a statutory licensing scheme for all visitor accommodation, including short-term holiday lets, making it a requirement to obtain a license. Their stated aim here is to raise standards across the tourism industry.
Following a consultation about varying land transaction tax locally in areas with large numbers of second homes, work will start today (Monday 4 July) with local authorities to develop a national framework so they can request increased land transaction tax rates for second homes and holiday lets to be applied in their local area.
There is not much more detail than the above currently and this inevitably leaves us with a large number of unanswered questions alongside the retrospective aspect. This is currently just an announcement of intention - so not a formal consultation, athough it is based on the previous consultation in relation to Second homes and FHLs. We will all try to find out more and report back as soon as possible. Our thoughts and support are with all Members and owners in Wales who are naturally going to be deeply concerned.