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Edinburgh Council Launch Short-Term Let Control Area Consultation

City of Edinburgh Council have today launched their consultation into designating the entire city as a Short-Term Let Control Area.

Under these plans, “a property owner who is letting out a residential property (which is not their principal home) on a short-term let basis would have to apply for ‘change of use’ approval through the planning application process”. It will not affect those who engage in ‘homesharing’ – that is, “the letting rooms or letting out the whole residential property where it is the owner’s principal home and the owner is absent.”

The consultation, which was approved by the Planning Committee, will run for nine weeks until 5th November 2021. The ASSC will provide a full briefing to members in due course but information from the Council relating to the consultation and how to respond can be accessed here: https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/short-term-let-consultation/

Responses to the Council will be used to inform the decision on taking forward a Short-Term Let Control Area for formal designation – Scottish Government Ministers will ultimately be responsible for approving Edinburgh’s plans.

The ASSC believes that City of Edinburgh Council’s Short-Term Let Control Area proposals are disproportionate, lack a robust evidence base and will damage Edinburgh’s renowned tourist economy.

For some facts and data on short-term letting in Edinburgh, read more: Edinburgh Briefing – ASSC

We have issued the following comment to media in response to the announcement:

Fiona Campbell, Chief Executive Officer of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers, said:

“Edinburgh Council’s draft proposals for a short-term let control area covering the entire city are wholly disproportionate and lack an empirical evidence base to substantiate claims that such accommodation has reduced housing stock.”

“Furthermore, their proposals appear to rely on pre-pandemic listings from one online platform only and this does not provide an accurate reflection of the situation.”

“Self-catering properties have been a longstanding presence in the capital for decades, enhancing the tourist offering and boosting the local economy, and should not be used as a convenient scapegoat for policy failures elsewhere. Communities are being hoodwinked into believing that regulating short-term lets out of existence will act as a panacea when in reality, we have failed to build enough affordable homes or bring large numbers of empty properties back into use.”

“Self-catering generates £70m for Edinburgh’s economy. For a city that is renowned for its hospitality, it is very disappointing that local policymakers are looking to solve multifaceted housing challenges in Edinburgh by concentrating on tourist accommodation and damaging small businesses in the process.”

“The ASSC looks forward to supplying evidence to the consultation and highlighting the need for balanced, targeted and proportionate regulation for the benefit of all concerned stakeholders in the city.”

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