County hous­ing boss: we see cri­sis, they just see op­por­tu­nity:

Caernarfon Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

ATV com­pany re­ceived a frosty re­cep­tion as it tried to re­cruit a Plaid Cymru coun­cil­lor to help pro­mote buy­ing hol­i­day homes in Gwynedd. The team be­hind the show Fan­tasy Homes By The Sea con­tacted Gwynedd cab­i­net mem­ber for hous­ing Cllr Craig ab Iago in the hope he’d get in­volved.

The show sees house hunters head to the coast in search of their dream home.

Par­tic­i­pants are also shown homes let out by their own­ers, to give them an in­sight into how much profit they could make on their po­ten­tial prop­erty.

The pro­duc­tion com­pany said Gwynedd coun­cil gave the show per­mis­sion to film in the area but Cllr ab Iago was not im­pressed. And he said it was the last thing a county in the grip of a hous­ing cri­sis needed to be pro­mot­ing.

He said: “They’re mak­ing a programme about some­body com­ing here and buy­ing our houses when we’ve got a mas­sive hous­ing cri­sis go­ing on in Gwynedd.

“It’s like a dif­fer­ent world. I’m the Cab­i­net Mem­ber for Hous­ing so I know what’s go­ing on in Gwynedd and the cri­sis that we’ve got here and some­body’s com­ing from some­where else and sees it as an op­por­tu­nity.

“It’s so frus­trat­ing that’s hap­pen­ing. It doesn’t even ad­dress the main is­sue that we can’t even af­ford our own houses.

“The only hous­ing prob­lem they ad­dress is some­body who doesn’t have a home by the sea.

“It’s an­noy­ing but it also makes you feel a bit help­less. Where they are, they don’t even see that this is an is­sue.”

Fan­tasy Homes By The Sea will be shown on UKTV chan­nel Re­ally later this year. The team is due to film on the Snow­do­nia coast­line, near Bar­mouth, in the first week of Oc­to­ber.

Cllr ab Iago be­lieves added: “Their aware­ness of how it’s an is­sue for us is so low that they don’t see a prob­lem in ask­ing for my help.

“The tone of the email is one that it’s some­thing I’d ob­vi­ously sup­port and it’s an op­por­tu­nity for our beaches to be on telly. The re­al­ity is I don’t want you buy­ing any more of our beach side homes, we can’t even home the peo­ple who are here.

“TV pro­grammes are not be­ing made for us, they’re be­ing made for some­body some­where else. They’re made for peo­ple with money.”

The programme is be­ing co-pro­duced by Hat-Trick Pro­duc­tions and Kalooki Pic­tures.

A pro­duc­tion com­pany spokesman con­firmed that full per­mis­sion to film was granted by Gwynedd Coun­cil.

They said: “Fan­tasy Homes By The Sea is a se­ries in which we help peo­ple find a prop­erty to ful­fil their de­sire of re­lo­cat­ing to the Bri­tish sea­side.

“They might want to move to be nearer their fam­i­lies, or for their work or re­turn to a place they have al­ways loved and some­times pre­vi­ously lived and be part of that com­mu­nity.

“Be­fore film­ing be­gins we al­ways en­sure that per­mis­sion is granted by the rel­e­vant coun­cils for film­ing to take place in all coun­cil-con­trolled ar­eas.”

● Cllr Craig ab Iago and, main picture, Bar­mouth

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