City of Edinburgh Council publishes response to Scottish Government short term lets consultation

Adam McVey

The City of Edinburgh Council has published its response to the recent Scottish Government consultation on short term lets, welcoming the announcement that draft legislation on proposals is expected to be considered by Parliament in December.

The report, which will be considered by councillors at next week’s policy and sustainability committee, broadly welcomes the Scottish Government’s approach to a new licensing regime and planning control areas and outlines what is required to happen next to allow the council to implement both licensing and planning controls after the new legislation comes into force next spring.

Adam McVey, council leader, said: “We’re seeking some clarification on some technical issues regarding implementation and are still working on how these powers can help us control the number of short term lets in the city through a combination of planning and licensing policies.

“We’re pleased that, through new short term let control areas, we’ll be able to control the number of short term lets in the city as properties being let out in these areas would automatically require to have ‘change of use’ planning permission in place. It’s also good news that when people apply for a licence we can ask for evidence that they have that permission. This is something we’re very keen to do and our ‘Choices’ consultation for our next local development plan - ‘City Plan 2030’ - showed overwhelming support for control zones.”

Cammy Day, deputy leader, added: “Great progress is being made to tackle this issue we have campaigned so hard to address. This is so important as short term lets have reduced the city’s housing stock, hollowed out communities and caused numerous issues for residents such as noise and other anti-social behaviour.

“It’s important though that we manage expectations just now as there’s still a lot of work to be done when the legislation is approved later this year to implement the right licensing regime and planning controls for Edinburgh. I look forward to the draft legislation going before Parliament in December and legislation becoming a reality in April so we can use the new legislation to improve the lives of many of our residents throughout the city.”

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