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Scotland’s short-term let licensing scheme

Scotland’s short-term let licensing scheme

Arabella Stewart-Leslie 15 Feb 2022
We want short term lets to continue making a positive impact on Scotland’s tourism industry and local economies while meeting the needs of local communities Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government Shona Robison Following the approval of The Control Area Regulations in February 2021, which permits local authorities to establish short-term let control areas, the Scottish Government has approved The Licensing of Short-term Let 2022 Order which will allow local authorities to set up short-term let licensing schemes. This legislation is the next step in managing short-term lets in the country. The approval of the licensing scheme means that local authorities will be required to establish a short-term let licensing scheme by October 2022. Existing hosts and operators will have until 1 April 2023 to apply for a licence for each property that they operate as a short-term let. All short-term lets in Scotland will have to be licensed by 1 July 2024. On or after 1 April 2024 operating without a licence is unlawful in all cases and those hosts should not be taking bookings. Where a short-let property is located in a short-term let control area, such as the proposed control area for the whole of the Edinburgh council area, a condition of obtaining a short-term let licence will be proof of planning permission. The licence application will be refused where a property that requires planning permission does not have it. The licence scheme will be a separate process to the planning system and regulations, but they are ultimately entwined in short-term let control areas. Outside of short-term let areas, a council still has the authority to judge applications on a case-by-case basis meaning they can decide if a change of use of a dwelling house is material and therefore requires planning permission. Any short-term let licence granted by the Council is subject to mandatory conditions set out in Schedule 3 of the Order, which includes conditions on fire, gas and electrical safety. In addition, the Council has the authority to apply its own standard conditions to all licences granted or specific conditions on any particular licence. This legislation is a response to ongoing concerns raised by residents and communities about the impact of short-term let properties in their area which include impact on housing supply, affordability, noise and antisocial behaviour. It is also about ensuring that short-term lets are safe and the people providing them are suitable hosts. If you are the owner of properties that you let out short-term within a proposed short-term let area now is the time to consider applying for planning permission. Without planning permission you won’t be able to gain a licence and you then won’t be able to operate. If you wish us to make a planning application on your behalf or are looking for planning advice regarding short-term let properties, please get in touch with our Edinburgh office.   Image credit: Max Vakhtbovych via Pexels  

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City of Edinburgh Council Agrees City Plan 2030 For Consultation
This proposed development plan can recalibrate how development happens in this city, positively shaping how our Capital grows and changes over the next 10 years and beyond. Councillor Neil Gardiner, Planning Convener The City of Edinburgh Council has agreed to publish the Proposed Local Development Plan, City Plan 2030, for public consultation. This consultation follows the ‘Choices for City Plan 2030’ consultation which took place in early 2020. The City of Edinburgh Council formally adopted its first LDP in November 2016. The replacement LDP is to be called City Plan 2030 and consultation on this highly anticipated document will take place for 6 weeks between 7 November and 19 December 2021. The publication of the proposed plan has been delayed on several occasions since August 2020 due to a range of factors, with consultation on the plan process initially having started back in 2018. The proposed City Plan 2030 “sets out sustainable future direction of development in Edinburgh” and seeks to address climate change, affordability, providing more houses and jobs, as well as transportation matters. The proposed LDP provides new place, environment and design, housing and economy policies.           Key points               -   Brownfield first approach     -   Carbon neutral buildings in line with the Net Zero 2030 ambition     -   Implementation of climate change mitigation and adaption     -   A minimum of 35 % affordable housing provisions     -   Restrictions on loss of housing to other uses including short-term lets     -   Creation of 20-minute walkable neighbourhoods     -   Development, excluding alterations, extensions and domestic outbuildings, should provide at least 20% of the site for open space     -   Adopting an infrastructure first approach, directing new development to where infrastructure already exists.     -   Delivering Edinburgh’s key economic land use needs as part of housing led mixed use developments.     -   Deliver housing on 50% of larger commercial development sites    New Place Policies Edinburgh Council has opted to pursue a brownfield first strategy through the inclusion of large mixed-use housing led allocations for new neighbourhoods within Edinburgh City Centre, Edinburgh West and Edinburgh Waterfront as well as sites at Seafield, Redford Barracks, Astley Ainslie, Edinburgh BioQuarter, Liberton Hospital, Bonnington and Fettes. No green field or green belt sites are identified for new housing and many of the brownfield sites allocated already have existing and active uses. New Environment and Design Policies These policies include requirements for carbon neutral buildings, future adaptation by embedding water management, biodiversity, green and blue infrastructure within developments and increased in open space requirements for new developments. The proposed plan also supports the Scottish Government’s 20-minute walkable neighbourhood vision.   New Housing Policies The draft plan increases the minimum rate of affordable housing contribution for any new development from 25% to 35 %, as well as measures to restrict the loss of residential properties for short-term lets. The proposed policy on short-term lets ties into separate consultation currently being undertaken by the City of Edinburgh council regarding the whole of Edinburgh becoming a short-term let control area. In addition, the plan introduces a requirement to deliver housing as part of larger commercial development sites. New Economy Policies The proposed plan introduces new and updated economy policies which the Council state will promote inclusive growth by supporting development that contributes towards addressing poverty and inequality, Edinburgh City Centre Transformation, cultural festivals, events throughout the city, universities, colleges and life science research. Lichfields is proposing to complete a short series of blogs around the key points raised in the draft LDP, including around housing and the 20-minute neighbourhood. If you want us to make a representation on your behalf to any of the proposed policies or allocations or are looking for planning advice the implications of the proposed LDP please get in touch with our Edinburgh office.

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