Bid to cut second-home 'squeeze'

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Bid to cut second-home 'squeeze'

Post by webjanitor » Mon Nov 27, 2006 9:25 am

Bid to cut second-home 'squeeze'
By Nick Parry
BBC Wales

The growth in the popularity of owning second homes has helped fuel a property boom in parts of Britain.

But the very things which can attract prospective second-home owners - the picturesque scenery and relative tranquillity - can also put pressure on the housing market, because development is restricted.

In Pembrokeshire, where 6% of all houses are second homes - rising to 50% in some coastal areas - average property prices are now close to seven times the average wage and many local people struggle to get onto the property ladder.

One idea being considered by planners involves relaxing restrictions on land which is currently protected from development, so sites can be used for affordable homes.

Communities 'eroded'

Former estate agent Matthew Owens has been appointed as the county's rural housing enabler. His job is to work with town and community councils to identify demand for affordable homes and find sites where they can be developed.

"It sounds a bit dramatic but we are slowly seeing the erosion of local communities in Pembrokeshire," he said.

Local young people are finding it very difficult to get onto the housing market
Bill Hall
Community council clerk

"Holiday homes are not the only reason - house prices have risen everywhere.

"But the communities I work with tend to be the coastal ones which would indicate that it's because they have the biggest pressure on the housing stock from the holiday market."

Although much of coast falls within Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, planners say they will look sympathetically on certain small scale developments that fall just outside the development boundaries.

Lettings policy

"It would be land directly adjoining the current development boundary - it could not be isolated from the main settlements or dwellings," added Mr Owens.

"The houses will have a local lettings policy - there will be a qualification criteria and they will have to have a local connection to that community area either through employment or residential family link."

He acknowledges that that those buying or investing in second homes help maintain and improve properties, including derelict buildings.

And the county estimates tourism is worth between £344m and £450m annually to the area's economy - based on its research for 2004 - and that more people work in tourism in Pembrokeshire than any other industry.

Homes which are empty for a large part of the year literally create a gap in local society
Pressure group Cymuned

However, communities which are lively and vibrant during the summer months go into virtual hibernation in the winter with shops and pubs closed and services such as buses reduced.

Surveys are being carried out in some of Pembrokeshire's most picturesque coastal communities to establish how many new homes are needed for locals.

The most recent one completed was in the community council area of Nolton and Roch.

There are only 742 people on the electoral role but the survey found that 19 new homes were needed, for people raised in the area who could not afford to live there or older residents looking to downsize.

Expansion 'limited'

Community council clerk Bill Hall said members were aware of a problem but surprised at the number of homes needed.

"It's an open market and anyone who wishes to buy property is entitled to do so," he said.

"The property prices have escalated quite considerably in the last couple of years and local young people are finding it very difficult to get onto the housing market.

And some believe more drastic action is needed.

Pressure group Cymuned (Welsh for communities) believes holiday homes should not account for more than 5% of any community's housing stock.

It wants VAT added to the price of second homes, council tax raised at 200% on each property and says planning permission should be required before a permanent dwelling can become a holiday home.

"Homes which are empty for a large part of the year literally create a gap in local society, which in turn makes that community less attractive for local people to live in," it said.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/w ... 128218.stm

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Post by prancer » Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:00 am

This is just the politics of envy, those of us fortunate enough to own one or two properties in the area are just that, fortunate, why should we have to pay double for services aimed at people who refuse to work or are in need of treatment for their drug habbits? It is the poor who rely on social services, and yet we who rightly take responsibility of our lives are expected to shell out. I don't mind popping a few quid in a bucket when someone dressed in an amusing costume smiles at me near the doorway of Waitrose, but I'll be damned if i'm going to sit back while Gordon brown fingers my wallet on behalf of the spongers. For too long the silent majority in this country have sat back while the do-gooders run amock with their hippie social programmes, look where it's got the country! Teenage pregnancy spiralling out of control, yobbos running free in schools and on our streets, and a general lack of respect for our betters. I blame those sneary BBC journalists, promoting their left wing liberal agenda they are like a cancer that is eating away at all that was once great about Britain - and yes, I do mean BRITAIN, not some half-assed collection of independent states (just watch what happens to Scotland if they cut the ties with the English social security sytem now that the oil has run ou - Sean connery - he doesn't even live in those cold flea-infested mountains.
I'm sorry for the bad language there, but this kind of stuff really does press my button, I need to go and take a power nap.
Prancing is for dancers, masking is for liars.

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Post by lewdnuance » Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:13 am

Hey Prancer, you sound about ready to start up a St Davids branch of the Guardian Angels, the guys who rode the NY subways looking out for the innocent in the face of threat and violence. You got any martial arts training?
I served in the army, and feel like I could handle myself, so if you ever want to put something together let me know, I'd definately be one who'd stand up to be counted.
I'm only half joking prancer.

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Post by prancer » Wed Dec 13, 2006 7:29 am

Hey Lewd,
I have also had some previous experience, eight years in the Neighbourhood watch ranks has taught me a thing or two. I must admit to being on the wrong side of sixty, so I'm afraid Guardian Angels type activities are a little beyond me, but I do have a nephew who is fairly well built.
It's hard to tell if you're just joking, but if you really would like to start something up in the St David's area I would be happy to serve in some kind of administrive role. I have quite a lote of experience of organising people, and I have a few quid to put into the venture. I would have to make it clear that no law is broken, and that it does not fall into some kind of vidual anti stuff. I am a law abiding citizen who happens to care about society, but I'd put my money where my mouth is.
Prancing is for dancers, masking is for liars.

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Post by lewdnuance » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:25 pm

That's ok Prancer, no one is expecting violent or physical action. I think a sensible approach would be to simply walk around St David's trouble spots and offer moral assistance when we see someone in trouble or a crime being committed. Your age could go in our favour as you would bring an air of respectability to the venture, and I could back you up if things turn nasty.
If you're at all serious, how about this weekend, Friday and Saturday nights are particularly bad in the red-light area of St Davids, perhaps we could wander around introducing ourselves and letting people know what we're up to. Do you have anywhere in mind where we could meet, what kind of duration are you thinking of? I know it sounds superficial, but I enjoy stuff on TV on a Friday and don't want to get back too late. Hope you read this before theweekend.
Sometimes we have stop turning away, sometimes the good people have to make a stand!

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Post by lewdnuance » Thu Dec 14, 2006 12:25 pm

That's ok Prancer, no one is expecting violent or physical action. I think a sensible approach would be to simply walk around St David's trouble spots and offer moral assistance when we see someone in trouble or a crime being committed. Your age could go in our favour as you would bring an air of respectability to the venture, and I could back you up if things turn nasty.
If you're at all serious, how about this weekend, Friday and Saturday nights are particularly bad in the red-light area of St Davids, perhaps we could wander around introducing ourselves and letting people know what we're up to. Do you have anywhere in mind where we could meet, what kind of duration are you thinking of? I know it sounds superficial, but I enjoy stuff on TV on a Friday and don't want to get back too late. Hope you read this before theweekend.
Sometimes we have stop turning away, sometimes the good people have to make a stand!

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Post by prancer » Fri Dec 15, 2006 7:50 am

Hey Lewd, meet outside the supermarket around 8-30ish, wear something rwed so I know I'm approaching the right person, then we'll have a walk down past the area where the brothels and night clubs are.
I'll be there for about half an hour, so if you're only pulling my leg I'll be gone by nine. If you're serious, then I look forward to meeting you.
i must admit I'm quite excited by the the whole thing.
Prancing is for dancers, masking is for liars.

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Post by lewdnuance » Fri Dec 15, 2006 10:42 am

Right you are prancer, I'll be there. Bring your nephew along too.
Sometimes we have stop turning away, sometimes the good people have to make a stand!

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Post by Bobby » Fri Dec 15, 2006 4:23 pm

I dont know if you are all trying to make some clever cynical comments to show its all quiet and nice in St. Davids, but I can assure you,its not that idyllic. The Police have been involved because of the behaviour and attitude by some towards me and my family.
I agree things are a lot worse in some other places,but its not as nice here as some people like to make out!

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Post by Whocantellyer » Sat Dec 16, 2006 1:05 am

Attitude is almost always a two edged sword, think about that.

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Post by lewdnuance » Wed Dec 20, 2006 7:39 am

Well, for those of you who don't read the local press or watch TV I'll try to sum up what went down.
We met up as planned, it was good to meet Prancer in the flesh, a really nice guy, if a little formal. In the end there were six of us, good to have a few other people along, we thought, from the board who had seen the arrangements here on the board. We began with a short tour of the red light district, the working girls were grateful to see us in the present climate of fear, and the atmosphere was generally friendly but serious.
Things started to go wrong about 9-45 pm, we heard a lot of noise coming from one of the US Navy ships at the docks and headed on over. We were met by a huge crowd of marines, there must have been twenty or thirty of them, and they were clearly intoxicated with something. We tried to avoid confrontation, but Prancer began shouting ant-Bush statements and things about the war in Iraq. The marines saw red, they rushed us screaming and waving their fists. I was tempted to turn and run but my army training got the better of me, and I stood my ground.
All around me I could see our chaps taking a terrible beating, it was terrifying, but then it happened, we heard a gun shot. Prancer had brought a firearm, and lying at his feet was a young texan boy called Hank Davies. The marines' attention then entirely turned on Prancer who disappeared beneath a mountain of uniforms, he screamed out in Welsh at one point, before finally going limp and silent.
The rest is well-documented, he was taken on board on of the US ships, and the Navy refuses to acknowledge his existence. Our local MP has been on TV calling for his release, but if you'd been there you'd know that there is little chance of him still being alive. Hank Davies recovered, but Prancer I fear is no more.
The public demonstrations continue at the docks, all US military personal around St Dvaids are now armed, and the growing tension threatens to put Welsh-US relations back thirty years.
I feel a terribl;e sense of guilt about the whole thing, if only I hadn't encouraged Prancer in this insanity, if only I had known he was armed, so many if onlys. Please remember Prancer over Christmas, I believe he has a wife and children somewhere in Newcastle, but let's all work hard to regain peace in our beautiful city of Saint David's before the tourism season starts up again.
Sometimes we have stop turning away, sometimes the good people have to make a stand!

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Post by Bobby » Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:58 am

WHOCANTELLYER. Not when it comes to gossip about something you havent done, or the names me and my family get called,or the other behaviour,and this by people me and my family hardly know;and we dont respond like for like.

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Post by prancer » Tue Jan 09, 2007 10:53 am

I am not dead.
I have limited access to a computer, I am allowed out of my cell for forty five minutes each day and sometimes have the opportunity to use their office equipment.
Please, let my family know I'm still alive, help me, I beg you, don't let them to continue to do the things they are doing to me.
Lewd, thank you, keep up the struggle, get me out of here.
Prancing is for dancers, masking is for liars.

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Post by Resident » Tue Jan 30, 2007 4:21 pm

Sorry I missed the meeting. It sounds like it went off in style and its nice to have a martyr that we can all look up to. I think most of us have had run-ins near the docks or at the clubs sometime since they arrived. It may have done wonders for the red light district but their presence hasn't helped most of us.

I have heard talk that the extra troop allocation in Iraq is going to draw on their resources so now might be the time to take back the city? I have access to limpet mines and also have a good gun placement that could be made ready.

I, like many others, will rise up if Malcolm makes the tough decision and raises the right flag on the Cross Square flagpole. We'll recognise the signal....

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