Here at Benar Cottages we are doing what we can to make our cottages as environmentally friendly as we possibly can for example by using Green Energy Tariffs, fully insulating the cottages and providing all the information our guests need to enjoy car-free days during their holiday.
Of course, it is just as important that our business supports our local community and sadly here in Eryri – Snowdonia we are facing a housing crisis partly caused by “holiday homes”. We are very aware that there is an urgent need for available and affordable housing in our National Park and throughout Wales. In short: people here need somewhere to live. In a National Park, where new housing developments are not allowed (except in exceptional circumstances), this issue is one that people including Daniel and Paul, the owners of Benar, feel very strongly about.
There is an urgent need for change.
Perhaps the biggest problem our village and our community faces is that of empty second homes. We understand why people might want to own a second home here: the village of Penmachno has lots of space and beautiful scenery – however it’s the incredible community that makes the village really special. That community can only thrive with a proper resident population – without it the band, chapel, choir, church, football team, Merched Y Wawr, pub, school, shop – everything that brings the community together faces an uncertain future. And, very importantly, we have a language and culture to protect too.
We understand the temptation but it’s difficult to find any moral justification for keeping a second home in our National Park when it causes a rise in house prices, a lack of available housing for people who actually need a home and want to live here and ultimately risks destroying our communities.