It is well known that I believe that in rural areas outside those areas subject to major urban pressure, those with a connection with the place or who live there permanently should be accommodated. All that is clearly spelt out in the spatial strategy. The spatial strategy is there, and we do not need any housing guidelines to lay down the basic rules. Let us be clear about it. It states that near the big towns and cities where there is urban influence, people with a connection with the place, either through background or employment, full-time or part-time, should be accommodated with rural sites. It goes on to state that in the BMW region, away from areas of urban influence, anyone who will live permanently in a house should be accommodated. It therefore rules out overspill from the towns and cities into areas adjacent, as well as second homes.
We must all be up-front about this. By designing the spatial strategy as we have, particularly in the scenic areas that the Deputy mentioned, we have excluded the very wealthy person who wants to build a second home from competing in the market. According to the spatial strategy, they should not be at the races. That was done for two reasons, the first being the obvious one of preserving the countryside, since one wants to ensure that those houses that are granted permission go to locals. The second one was the social reason that the Deputy has just propounded, the market for young local people buying sites whose parents do not have farms and have no connection with planning, and their right to planning permission. Those people should not be wrongfully priced out of the market by having to compete with holiday home owners.
From the point of view of the person selling, we have limited the market, but for a local buyer we have ensured that he or she does not have to compete with holiday home owners. I am glad the Deputy has raised this matter because at many meetings throughout the country people on the one hand want to get top dollar and to be able to sell to the outsider while on the other they complain that those same outsiders are pricing their children out of the market. We can have it one way or the other.
I was part of a council which adopted this policy long before the spatial strategy. Priority to build houses in rural areas and in scenic areas should be given to local people or to people who have moved to an area, live in it permanently and have a job in it, and not to people to have second homes. That is the best social policy we can follow.