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Best Practice: South Ayrshire Council Position on Planning Permission

We are delighted that following meaningful engagement, South Ayrshire has assessed its position on planning.

If you were operating before 1 October 2022 and have no issues with enforcement, even if there has been a material change of use, planning will confirm that no enforcement action will be taken, giving a clear path to apply for a licence.

This is a pragmatic approach, and one that we fully endorse and celebrate as best practice. The planning authority has recognised that in the past things were not clear, so it is now not fair to ask for retrospective planning on this basis. Further, they do not believe that planning should be involved as part of a licence application consideration.

Short Term Lets prior to October 2022

With regards to properties which have operated as a Short Term Let without the benefit of Planning Permission prior to October 2022, if the applicant can demonstrate that the Short
Term Let has been in operation for a continuous period of 10 years or more and the use is

ongoing they may apply to the Planning Authority for a Certificate of Lawfulness for an existing use, to continue operating as a short term let.

With regards to properties which have operated as a Short Term Let without the benefit of Planning Permission prior to October 2022, but for less than 10 years, owners will be advised to seek confirmation in writing from the Planning Authority that no planning enforcement action will be taken against their property or they may apply for retrospective planning permission.

Members will note that Planning enforcement is a discretionary matter and it is for the Planning Authority to determine if enforcement action should be taken on any breach of Planning control.

In considering such “no enforcement action” requests, the Planning Authority shall take account of all relevant considerations, including the following:

  • the length of time the unit has been used as a Short Term let
  • Any previous correspondence with the Planning Authority indicating that Planning permission was not required
  • The volume and nature of any formal complaints to Planning about the use of the property.
  • Planning Legislation.
  • Scottish Government Planning policy and guidance.
  • South Ayrshire Council Planning policy and guidance.
  • The degree of harm being caused to public amenity.
  • Whether such action is in the public interest.
  • Other legislation which may regulate the use of the property.If it is considered that the Planning Authority deems that enforcement action would be required then the applicant may be advised to make an application for planning permission for the change of use to a Short Term Let. Said application would be determined in the normal manner.

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