Party flat neighbours want city to copy Glasgow policy

Bruce Borthwick
Bruce Borthwick
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RESIDENTS plagued by rowdy revellers who come to the Capital for stag and hen weekends claim they have found a solution to the problem of party flats.

They want Edinburgh to follow the example of Glasgow in requiring landlords to apply for planning permission before they are allowed to start letting their property as party flats.

Retired veterinary surgeon Bruce Borthwick, who has been forced to call police on multiple occasions because of problems with party flats close to his home in Holyrood Mews, said up until now city council officials had insisted party flats did not constitute a “change of use” of a residential property.

But now he hopes they can be persuaded to adopt the same approach as their colleagues in the west, where permission is required and there is a presumption against allowing what is classed as “short-term serviced accommodation” where there are other residents in the block.

Mr Borthwick said: “This is what we were told by Edinburgh could not be done. Glasgow used their nous to get round the problem.

“Glasgow does not have such a significant problem with party flats as Edinburgh, but they recognised it and nipped it in the bud.”

A change in the law last year allowed landlords to be served with anti-social behaviour notices. However, incidents continue to occur while the council and police put in place systems to deal with complaints and enforce the new law.

Lothians Labour MSP Sarah Boyack has lodged a motion in the Scottish Parliament, calling on the city council to consider following Glasgow’s example.

She said: “Residents across the city affected by party flats are growing increasingly exasperated at the lack of regulation.

“It is clear from Glasgow’s policy that there is scope within existing regulations to tackle this issue. I know councillors are sympathetic towards the plight of residents and I want to turn that to action by following Glasgow’s example.”

A council spokesman said: “We recognise the distress this issue can cause to neighbours. The council is exploring all options to tackle the problem. We are very interested to hear that colleagues in Glasgow have found ways to address this and are keen to learn from their experience.

“A project team has been created to look into this issue and a key part of their remit will be to assess best practice from other local authorities across the United Kingdom. The team is expected to report on their findings later in the year.”