Planning for residential tourism in rural Wales

Nick Gallent, Mark Tewdwr-Jones, Gary Higgs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Housing change is a fundamental component of more general social and economic changes occurring in rural areas and is worthy of closer examination. This paper focuses attention on residential tourism in rural Wales as particularly manifested in built second homes. Arguably, this phenomenon reached its political height in the late 1980s, spurred on by the property boom and the widening gap between house prices in affluent English regions and rural Wales. In 1987, it was estimated that 10 per cent of dwellings on Anglesey and around Caernarfon were second homes along with an unrivalled 25 per cent in the district of Dwyfor (Pilkington, 1990). In the popular press, it was claimed that as many as 60,000 Welsh families were being ‘squeezed out of their home communities each year by second-home purchasers and permanent inmigrants. Opposition and protest took many forms including a sustained arson campaign which claimed some 170 second homes between 1979 and 1990. For these reasons, residential tourism in Wales became a real and a literal ‘burning issue'(Pilkington, 1990). At the beginning of the 1990s, second homes were at the forefront of housing issues and the more general debate concerning social change in the Welsh countryside. More recently however, economic recession and a less than buoyant housing market have put paid to many middle-class second-home aspirations and the issue has become increasingly hidden, as it was at the beginning of the 1970s (Jacobs, 1972). At the same time, it appears to have slipped from the political agenda whilst the issue of affordable housing supply has gained prominence …
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103 - 126
JournalContemporary Wales
Volume10
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 1998

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