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Planning Control Areas in Edinburgh: Written Answers

QUESTION NO 12 By Councillor Jim Campbell for answer by the Convener of the Planning Committee at a meeting of the Council on 17 March 2022

The Council has promoted its intention to have a Short Term Lets Control Area including in a press release on 23 February 2022.

Given that the changes to Planning rules will not affect properties that have operated in this way for more than 10 years:

Question (1) What number and proportion of short term-lets is it expected will be required to seek planning permission to continue operating?

Answer (1) The automatic requirement for planning permission to operate a short-term let (STL) applies only to letting of a dwelling that is not a principal home, it does not apply to home sharing or home letting. The majority of short-term lets in Edinburgh are entire property lets.

In October 2021, 4,022 entire properties were registered on Airbnb (which is one of the online platforms that enable bookings of short-term lets). This was 77% of all registrations. The forthcoming short-term licensing scheme will require applicants within the short-term let control area to demonstrate planning permission or that it is not required. It is not known how many properties will seek planning permission however from our planning enforcement investigations, it is thought the majority of those operating will have been doing so for less than 10 years.

Question (2) What is the expectation with regard to how many of these may be successful in gaining planning permission?

Answer (2) It is not possible to pre-judge the outcome of planning applications. Current planning policy allows consideration of the appropriateness of short-term letting within a residential context. Where this is appropriate it allows for STLs. In 2021 there were 25 applications for planning permission for STLs determined. 15 of these were granted.

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