Short-term lets: Edinburgh councillors to vote on proposal for short-term let control zone

Councillors are to vote on a proposal to designate the entire Edinburgh council area as a short-term let (STL) control zone.

It would mean those letting out a residential property which is not their home on an Airbnb-style basis will have to apply for a “change of use”.

The city council’s planning committee will vote on the proposal next Wednesday.

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If agreed, approval will need to be sought from the Scottish Government for the new powers to be implemented across Edinburgh.

The proposals will not amount to a blanket ban on all STLs, instead they will mean “change of use” applications will be considered by the council’s planning department.

A consultation on the plans found 85% of respondents are in favour of the control zone covering the whole council.

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Planning convener Neil Gardiner said: “I’d like to thank everyone who took part in our consultation.

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Short-term lets: Edinburgh councillors to vote on proposal for short-term let control zone.

“We worked hard calling for new legislation to help us have greater controls over STLs as we know they are an issue for many of our residents across the city.

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“So it was great to see so many people from all different neighbourhoods taking part.

“This report highlights the growing pressures of the STL commercial market, which requires a cross-city approach to regulations.

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“With high concentrations in central areas, there are commercial STLs in every council ward in this city.

“In some areas STLs have hollowed out communities, put more pressure on the housing market, causing prices to rise, and created other issues such as anti-social behaviour and noise.”

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Fiona Campbell, chief executive of the Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers (ASSC), described the scheme as “restrictive and anti-business”, adding it will “have a hugely detrimental impact on the many small businesses who work tirelessly to ensure that the capital has one of the world’s best tourism offerings”.

She added: “The real problem Edinburgh has is a lack of house building, but our local authority has chosen to pick on an easy scapegoat rather than address the real and difficult issue.

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“Despite the misrepresentation that we have had to deal with, the ASSC will continue to promote self-catering in Edinburgh, and across Scotland, and remains committed to finding a policy solution that works for all.”

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