A decision to make second home owners in Pembrokeshire pay double the normal rate of council tax from next year has been welcomed by Welsh language campaigners.

The final sign off to double council tax on second homes, after cabinet voted for the increase last month, was given by Pembrokeshire’s full council on Thursday, October 14.

There were only eight votes against proposals to increase the premiums to 100 per cent, with the potential for an extra £2.3million to be raised for affordable house building and community grants.

The local authority area becomes the third in Wales after Gwynedd and Swansea to impose the maximum increase.

More than 1,200 properties in Pembrokeshire have become second homes in the past three years, an increase of 45%, according to latest Welsh government figures.

Except for properties registered as holiday homes, where owners pay business rates instead of council tax, these homes will now qualify for the 100% tax premium.

Campaigners have argued that second homes can drive up prices, and if fewer local families can afford to live there it can affect schools and services, and the Welsh language.

The Welsh Language Society, Cymdeithas yr Iaith, welcomed the decision and said that it's now the Government's turn to act on the issue of second homes.

Bethan Williams, secretary of Cymdeithas yr Iaith in Carmarthen-Pembrokeshire, said: "This is encouraging news for communities across Pembrokeshire.

"We'd like to thank councillors who voted to increase the tax and to those who campaigned for the policy.

"There will be an opportunity to thank Cllr Cris Tomos at the rally on Parrog beach in Newport on October 23.

"We will also use the opportunity to say to the Government 'it's your turn now' and call on them to put measures in place so that people can't take advantage of any loopholes to avoid tax, and to put a cap second houses."

In July, the Welsh government had set out its own plans to deal with what has been described as a housing "crisis" fuelled by second-home ownership.

Ministers said they wanted to put "fairness at the heart of their plans" and promised to build a further 20,000 low-carbon affordable homes for social rent this Senedd term.

They have argued that since 2017 councils in Wales have had the right to charge a council tax premium of up to 100% on second homes.

Those looking to buy second homes in Wales also have to pay an extra 4% in land transaction tax on top of the tax payable for their band.

Currently, Pembrokeshire council is collecting a 50% council tax premium on 3,640 second homes in the county.

The new 100% premium will take a Band A property from £793.13 a year to about £1,500, with Band I homes increasing from £2,775 a year to £5,500.