Housing market: Seaside village ‘becoming no-go area for locals’

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Anthony Parkes

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Local councillors fear Morfa Nefyn’s appeal to second-home buyers is driving up prices

Planning guidelines are actively working against efforts to provide homes for local people in Gwynedd, a local councillor has claimed.

Gruff Williams said Morfa Nefyn was “slowly becoming a no-go area for local people to buy property”.

He claimed the rules were too restrictive on what local people can build as an affordable home instead.

Gwynedd Council said its policies “aim to provide affordable housing in cases of genuine need”.

“We could easily have another Abersoch on our hands if we’re not careful”, Mr Williams said, referring to a nearby tourist destination popular with second-home buyers.

He made the claims ahead of a decision on the planned adaptation and extension of a home on Mynydd Nefyn, which was sold last year for £330,000.

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Gwynedd Council

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The house on Mynydd Nefyn as it is now (left) and as it could look if extended (right)

The owners stress it will be used as a family home rather than a holiday home, but Nefyn Town Council fears it would open the floodgates for similar developments.

Planning officers are recommending approval, saying it would “integrate acceptably into the landscape”.

However, Mr Williams pointed out that planning officers opposed a bid by a local head teacher and her family to build two homes in Llanengan, near Abersoch, claiming they were too big to be considered affordable.

Councillors eventually granted permission, but Nia Ferris was not allowed to live in one of the homes because she was earning too much to qualify as someone in need of affordable housing.

“When local people want to build an affordable home there seems to be various obstacles thrown in their way,” Mr Williams told the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

“The policies seem to be used to justify all sorts of applications we don’t want but are seemingly forced to accept, while local people are struggling to receive fair play.”

A spokesperson for Gwynedd Council said the authority deals with each planning application individually and on its merits.

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