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Written Evidence to Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee – MAY 2024


Make no mistake, Scottish tourism is facing irreversible damage as a direct result of short-term let regulations

However, the First Minister John Swinney and Deputy First Minister Kate Forbes are now emphasising the importance of economic growth and the need to reduce red tape for business. This is a welcome change of direction but warm words require action if they are to remain true to the spirit and letter of the New Deal for Business in removing the barriers and burdensome regulations hitting small business throughout Scotland. The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) believes this is glaringly apparent with our
members lived experience of short-term let regulations.

The ASSC welcomes the opportunity to provide written evidence to the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee on the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Short-Term Lets) Amendment Order 2024. However, it is regrettable that the Amendment Order falls way short of what is required to help existing self-catering owners survive and thrive into the future – and that was despite the industry offering numerous policy recommendations to resolve the remaining outstanding challenges. The Order provides little more than minor tinkering around the edges rather than the positive change necessary for a key component of Scottish tourism that boosts the economy by £1bn per annum.
When the 2022 Order was laid back in 2022, we warned that it was akin to sending the RMS Titanic to sea in full knowledge that it had holes in the hull. The 2024 amendment is akin to rearranging the chairs on the same ship while it sinks: a minor improvement on something which is known to be catastrophic.

In our written evidence, we highlight:

• Details of how the engagement in the lead-up to the laying of the 2024 Amendment Order did not
provide adequate consideration of industry concerns;
• Provides our thoughts on the 2024 Amendment Order itself;
• Outlines the evidence of continuing damage being inflicted on the visitor economy through short
term let regulations; and
• How industry and government can work together to finally produce a regulatory framework that
works for all affected stakeholders.

View and download the paper below.


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