Edinburgh councillors reject two appeals for Airbnb-style short term lets in Old Town
Councillors have turned down two appeals for permission to run Airbnb-style short term lets in the Old Town.
The city council’s planning local review body upheld decisions for change of use permission to be refused for properties on Cockburn Street and Lady Wynd to be turned into short term lets.
Despite no complaints being raised by neighbours, the panel turned down the appeals as without a licensing regime, the council has no control of future operators of the properties. The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on the regulation of short term lets.
Planning officers, who initially refused permission, said giving the green light “would have the potential to significantly and adversely affect the amenity of neighbouring residents”.
Both flats have been operating as short term lets for the last two years but now require planning permission. Councillors said that allowing short term let flats in shared stairs would cause disturbance for neighbouring residents.
Cllr Maureen Child said: “While it might be working fine, there’s no guarantee it won’t. We have to judge it on the use and we are losing residential properties within the Old Town and New Town and I think this is not the proper use.
“If ownership were to change or somebody arrived who causes difficulties in the stair, the use has made it problematic.”
Cllr Joanna Mowat said: “There are positive neighbour comments but this will be a stair where there’s more than four flats in it.
“This was introduced in response to a change to have a planning condition because of concerns of properties being taken out of conventional housing.
“Whilst this is an example of a well-managed one, we don’t have a licensing format to put this in at the moment. I think we should refuse the change of us.”
David Bol , Local Democracy Reporting Service