Fiona Campbell, CEO of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, said:
“Short-term lets have been a mainstay of the local tourism market for decades, providing a popular alternative to more traditional offerings like hotels, while benefitting related businesses in the area through guest spend. The prospect of a Short Term Let Control Area by Argyll and Bute Council would come at the worst possible time for operators and the ASSC does not believe there is a sufficient evidence base to proceed with such a policy. Such policies must be looked at holistically and underpinned by empirical data: the number of self-catering businesses (many of which are on non-domestic rates and therefore not considered residential properties), the number of second homes, and the number of empty homes, seen within a context of the total number of dwellings, population and demographic changes and actual housing need. A short-term let control area is not a magic bullet to ameliorate the housing crisis.
“Small businesses like self-catering should not be used as a convenient scapegoat for wider failures in housing policy. Neither licensing or planning policies won’t result in glut of affordable homes to buy or rent and anyone suggesting otherwise is raising false hopes. We have to build our way out of this crisis, as well tackling the increasing number of empty homes, as opposed to shutting down indigenous self-catering businesses which will only decimate local livelihoods and harm our tourist economy.”