Newport stands in danger of losing both its Welsh language and its indigenous population as the number of second homes in the town continues to rise.

This is the claim of locals after discovering that the former Rectory is being sold by The Church in Wales for £850,000.

Informal tenders are being invited by estate agents Morgan & Davies by midday on Friday, December 1.  These are blind bids where perspective buyers bid without knowledge of what other interested parties may have offered. 

But locals claim that the the way in which the sale has been instigated is ignoring the pressing housing needs of Newport and its surrounding area.

“Local people have been considering the property for some time, ever since it became vacant around three years ago,” commented resident Sandra Bayes.

“The house would be perfect for social care housing which is sorely needed here in Newport while the garden, which extends to one and a half acres, is sufficient for five or possibly six houses to be built.

“We don’t want any more speculative housing and we certainly don’t want any more holiday homes - Newport needs housing that addresses the needs of the local people.”

The Rectory is being described by the estate agents as ‘a refurbishment or development project with positive planning assessment for potential housing development’.

The details state is it ‘suitable for use as a large family home or as a business opportunity such as B&B, Airbnb, or a guest house.

“This is a unique opportunity, rarely available within Newport, with huge potential,” states the advert.

But Newport’s demographic imbalance means that 47% of the population is currently over retirement age.

Sadly the lack of care facilities in the town means that a large number of people are forced to leave their homes when they fail, and seek suitable accommodation elsewhere in Pembrokeshire or even further afield.

“This means that they then lose contact with their friends and  sometimes their families as they have to relocate a considerable distance from Newport,” continued Sandra Bayes.

“We’re also losing a large number of younger people who are unable to find employment which gives them sufficient salaries to purchase or rent a property in Newport.

“As a result, Newport is losing the Welsh language and the Welsh people who have lived here for generations.”

Locals are now considering setting up a Community Land Trust with the hope of purchasing the Rectory and ensuring its future development in accordance with the needs of the town.

“But this means we have to raise £850,000 before the beginning of December which doesn’t give us any time at all,” added Sandra Bayes.

“The Rectory is one of the very last properties in the town centre with sufficient land which could be developed for the social needs of this community.

“It’s important that we do as much as we possibly can in the short time left, to save it and make it work for Newport.”

Meetings are taking place today (Saturday, October 21), in the Newport Memorial Town Hall between 2-4pm and 6-8pm where town councillors will be available to discuss any housing or social issues which local residents may have.