Log in

Planning (Scotland) Bill Briefing


MSPs have voted to approve the Scottish Government’s Planning (Scotland) Bill. As you will be aware, the ASSC and others in the industry have been working hard on this issue – engaging with the Scottish Government and meeting MSPs from all parties – in order to secure a fair and balanced solution that works for you, local communities, and our tourist economy.

Earlier in proceedings, Scottish Green MSP Andy Wightman introduced an amendment to the Bill that would have required all short-term lets that were not the property owner’s primary residence to require planning permission to operate. This amendment was not agreed to by MSPs earlier this week.

However, Scottish Conservative MSP Rachael Hamilton’s amendment to the Bill was approved. This will give planning authorities the power to create Short-Term Let Control Zones and only there would short-term lets require planning permission.

Over the course of the Bill’s progression through Parliament, the ASSC has undertaken a sustained campaign of engagement with MSPs, Councillors and external stakeholders to make sure the voice of the self-catering and short-term lets industry has been heard. The success of this is evidenced by the successful changes to the amendments on short-term lets, inserted by Andy Wightman MSP at Stage 2, and changed for a more favourable approach by Rachael Hamilton MSP at Stage 3. These changes were influenced and supported by the ASSC when our concerns were raised with the numerous MSPs we met of all parties.

ASSC Response

In response to the vote in Parliament, the ASSC and the STAA issued the following statement:

“The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) and the Short-Term Accommodation Association (STAA) support the outcome of the recent Planning Bill process.   

“We look forward to working with MSPs from all parties in Holyrood and the Scottish Government to help get the details of the future laws right and ensure that there is clarity for all those connected and impacted by short-term letting in Scotland.  

“Both the ASSC and the STAA are fully committed to creating an environment for the responsible growth of the short-term let sector in Scotland.”

What Happens Next?

Even now that the Bill has passed and once it has received Royal Assent, making it an Act, how it will be implemented may remain to be seen for quite a long time.

While this gives the power to create Short-Term Let Control Zones:

  • When this will be done;
  • By what criteria a local authority may need to create one;
  • How they will be implemented;
  • What constitutes providing a short-term let;

are all questions that remain to be answered and will largely be decided by secondary legislation – proposals by Ministers that must be approved by the Scottish Parliament.

The bottom line is that there is a long way to go before all the variables are known and anything needs to be done.

The ASSC will keep you informed of all the latest developments as and when they occur.


Notes to Editors:

The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC) was founded in 1978, and is the leading source of knowledge on short-term letting and holiday homes in Scotland. It has more than 650 Members, operating in excess of 7,000 self-catering properties throughout Scotland, from city centre apartments, to rural cottages, to lodges and chalets, to castles. The ASSC commits its members to maintaining the principles of “quality, integrity, cleanliness, comfort, courtesy and efficiency” and to offering visitors to Scotland consistently high standards within their self-catering properties.

The ASSC has close links with other European countries, as founding members of the European Holiday Homes Association (EHHA). It is also a member of the Scottish Tourism Alliance Council. The Association works closely with local authorities and Scottish Government to support the self-catering and short-term let sector and has recently produced a Code of Conduct for members and a policy paper presenting a Long-Term Solution to Short-Term Letting.

 The Short-Term Accommodation Association (STAA) was established in 2017 as the trade body for the short-term let sector in the UK by its founding members The Air Agents, Airsorted, Airbnb, HomeAway, Lavanda, OASIS, Onefinestay and UnderTheDoormat. Membership is open to companies and organisations that promote, provide or service short-term accommodation rentals. The STAA seeks to work with all stakeholders towards a stable and supportive regulatory environment that promotes the UK as a global leader in the provision of short-term accommodation.

Get the latest from the sector

Stay up to date with our self-catering newsletter

Contact us


07379 257749

Follow us

Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy