Gove to push for 'Airbnb planning permission' to allow locals to block short-term lets in their neighbourhood

19 February 2024, 00:05 | Updated: 19 February 2024, 00:06

GOVE
Michael Gove has proposed planning permission for short-term lets to prevent a "hollowing out of communities" by companies like AirBnB. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

Michael Gove has proposed planning permission for short-term lets to prevent a "hollowing out of communities" by houses being listed on website like AirBnb

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The new law would introduce a new "use" category for holiday lets which would require permission from local councils.

The rules would not to apply to people renting out their main home for 90 days or less in a year.

A mandatory national register would be set up providing councils with information on short-term lets in their area.

Mr Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: "These changes will ensure people have more control over housing in their cherished communities.

"We know short-term lets can be helpful for the tourist economy, but we are now giving councils the tools to bring them under control so that local people can rent those homes as well.

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Mr Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: "These changes will ensure people have more control over housing in their cherished communities. Picture: Alamy

"These changes strike a balance between giving local people access to more affordable housing, while ensuring the visitor economy continues to flourish."

Tourism minister Julia Lopez said: "Short-term lets provide flexibility for homeowners and give tourists more accommodation options than ever before, but this should not prevent local people from being able to buy or rent homes in their area.

"The Government is committed to getting the balance right to ensure both local people and our visitor economy can thrive."

Amanda Cupples, Airbnb general manager for northern Europe, said: "The introduction of a short-term lets register is good news for everyone.

"Families who host on Airbnb will benefit from clear rules that support their activity, and local authorities will get access to the information they need to assess and manage housing impacts and keep communities healthy, where necessary.

"We have long led calls for the introduction of a host register and we look forward to working together to make it a success."

Airbnb Reports Quarterly Earnings
Amanda Cupples, Airbnb general manager for northern Europe, said: "The introduction of a short-term lets register is good news for everyone.". Picture: Getty

Linda Taylor, leader of Cornwall Council, welcomed the proposals to tackle the "escalating" number of holiday lets in the county.

She said: "Alongside the introduction of the 100% premium on second homes from April 2025, I'm pleased the Government is providing the fiscal, planning and regulatory powers to help rebalance Cornwall's housing market and allow us to provide even more decent and secure homes for local people and help all our communities to thrive."

Linda Taylor, leader of Cornwall Council
Linda Taylor, leader of Cornwall Council, welcomed the proposals to tackle the "escalating" number of holiday lets in the county. (stock image). Picture: Alamy

A Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities spokesman said: "The Government also intends to introduce associated permitted development rights - one allowing for a property to be changed from a short-term let to a standard residential dwelling, and a second that would allow a property to be changed to a short-term let.

"Local authorities would be able to remove these permissions and require full planning permission if they deem it necessary.

"Both of these measures are focused on short-term lets, and therefore the planning changes and the register will not affect hotels, hostels or B&Bs.

"Further details of these measures will be set out in the Government's response to the consultations, including the timeline for implementation of the register, the use class and the individual permitted development rights - with the changes being introduced from this summer."

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