Bonnyrigg Airbnb appeal is rejected

An artist who rented out her studio for Airbnb clients has lost her appeal against an enforcement order to shut it down.

By Marie Sharp , Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 2:30 pm
Viewbank Road - Bonnyrigg. Photo: Google Maps.
Viewbank Road - Bonnyrigg. Photo: Google Maps.

The studio was built at a private property on Viewbank Road, Bonnyrigg, after Midlothian Council granted planning permission for domestic use.

However, the local authority issued an enforcement order against the owners in December after discovering it had been advertised and used for short-term letting as an Airbnb.

Claims the studio had been used for months on a “continuous and intensive basis” were made by the council, who said there were 21 separate online reviews by people who had used it.

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It said: “The unauthorised use of the same building has been the subject of substantial public complaint to the council.

“That has come from the occupiers of various and separate local residential properties. All have raised concerns about parking and noise issues resulting from the unauthorised use of the building.”

But appealing the notice to Scottish Ministers, agents for the owners claimed that bookings which had already been paid for went beyond the cease order date of February 10 and insisted their clients had no idea they were breaching any conditions.

Now the Scottish Government Reporter has thrown out their appeal, ordering the Airbnb to close within one month. In her ruling, the Reporter acknowledged that the owners of the property had been dealing with health issues when the enforcement order was lodged over the Christmas period.

However, she said: “Whilst I sympathise that the appellants have been in poor health and feel that they have been badly advised by their architect, I have no evidence before me to explain why these matters would affect their ability to immediately cease the unauthorised use.”

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