Lothian Green MSP accuses SNP of being 'too timid' over short-term lets

Tackling growth of Airbnb-style accommodation raised at First Minister's Questions

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 7:05 pm
Updated Thursday, 31st October 2019, 7:09 pm
Alison Johnstone said the SNP had sided with the Conservatives to deliver a "Tory-style" Planning Bill.

LOTHIAN Green MSP Alison Johnstone has branded the Scottish Government “too timid” in its stance of “out of control” short-term lets.

At First Minister’s Questions she called for tougher action to tackle the growth of Airbnb-style accommodation.

Ms Johnstone said it was two years since her colleague Andy Wightman first raised the issue and he had recently proposed an amendment to the Planning Bill at Holyrood to regulate the sector.

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Andy Wightman first raised the issue of short-term lets with the Scottish Government two years ago.

“Parliament appeared supportive, but at the last minute, the First Minister’s Government sided with the Conservatives to block the amendment and give us a ‘Tory-style’ planning bill. Yet again, an SNP Government is too timid to take action.”

Nicola Sturgeon said Ms Johnstone’s comments were a “mischaracterisation” of the situation.

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“We therefore took the view that, instead of imposing an inappropriate one-size-fits-all policy, it would be better to allow local authorities to decide whether short-term let control areas were required in their part of the country.”