ENVIRONMENTAL campaigner and writer George Monbiot is selling his property in Powys, and says a local family will soon take it on.

Mr Monbiot has owned a property in Machynlleth since 2007, but the climate writer is now selling the residence having rented it out to a local housing co-operative for the last nine years.

He opted not to sell his Machynlleth property on the open market as he did not wish for it to be bought and used as a second home, instead arranging it to be sold to a local family.

READ MORE: George Monbiot calls for river conservationists to stop eating chicken

The move tallies with his own views on the housing crisis in rural areas, and he told our sister title, The County Times, that he had been willing to receive a lower sum for the house in order to ensure that its sale helped contribute towards ensuring Machynlleth has property available for the resident population.

Last year, he told The National that second homes are bringing 'community death' to Wales

Mr Monbiot said: “I am selling it, to a lovely local family. We are hoping to exchange contracts within a few weeks. For the past nine years, I've rented it to a local housing co-operative.

“It's been a wonderful experience, that I would strongly recommend. They looked after the house in a way you would not usually expect of tenants, and built a warm and robust community.

“I chose not to sell it on the open market, as I wanted to be sure it would go either to a local family or to another co-operative. I'm very keen that it does not fall into the hands of second-home owners. Doubtless I could have made more money if I had advertised it, but I would be ashamed to take housing away from those who need it."

He added: “There is now a severe housing crisis in Machynlleth, thanks in part to second homes, AirBnB and holiday lets.

"I believe there's a powerful case for regulating this market and setting limits on the number of properties that can be removed from proper residential use.”

READ MORE: Climate change and chicken farms: River Wye's 'slow death'

Mr Monbiot is the author of books such as Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain (2000) and Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding (2013), in addition to being a weekly columnist for The Guardian.

He has been criticised by some members of the farming community in the area for his views on agriculture's environmental impact.

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