RTPI Scotland gives cautious welcome to short-term let proposals

The success of Scottish Government proposals to regulate short-term lets such as AirBnB is dependent on new funding to support implementation by planning departments, according to the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

The regulations include a mandatory licensing scheme to ensure that all short-term lets are safe and to address issues faced by neighbours. They will also give councils powers to manage pressures created by the use of whole properties as short-term lets.

In its formal response to the Scottish Parliament’s call for views on new regulations to manage short-term lets, RTPI Scotland also highlighted the key role of the Scottish Government’s Digital Strategy for Planning in helping planners to more effectively collect, share and map data on short-term lets.

Barbara Cummins, convener of RTPI Scotland, said: “Like many countries the issue of short-term lets in Scotland can often be difficult to manage given often divided opinions on their impacts on local communities and their contribution to expanding the tourist economy.

“Planners have been at the forefront of this issue for some time now and the new regulations should provide a better framework to allow them to take this forward in a balanced way. The regulations clearly have been thoroughly researched and have undergone extensive consultation.

“However we are concerned that the new proposals will place a significant burden on planning departments. There is a need to recognise the cumulative impact of the resource implications which comes on top of other costs expected from implementing new duties of the recent Planning Act.”

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