Proposed changes to Guidance for Businesses – Short Term Lets

View of Edinburgh tenements with trees in the foreground.

We want your views on the proposed changes to the Guidance for Businesses and specifically the expanded section on short term lets (STLs).

In 2021, Scottish Government legislation allowed councils to have a short-term let control area. In a control area, this means if that if a flat or a house, which is not the home you live in, is used for a short-term let, you will need planning permission.

Edinburgh was the first council in Scotland to apply for a short-term control area, which has now been in place since 5 September 2022 and covers the whole of the Council’s area.

The amount of STL accommodation has grown significantly in the last ten years and Edinburgh is recognised as an area that has greater pressures than other parts of the country.

The current Guidance for Businesses has a section on short-term commercial visitor accommodation and we are proposing changes which were presented to the Planning Committee on 31 August 2022.

Planning applications for STLs be assessed against the Local Development Plan along with the updated guidance and any other relevant material considerations.

Your responses will shape the final version of the guidance which we aim to have in place in early 2023. 

Complete the online consultation here by 22 December 2022.

Edinburgh’s Proposed Low Emission Zone takes another step forward

Last week Edinburgh’s proposed Low Emission Zone (LEZ) took another step forward, as sign-off was given by the Council’s Transport & Environment Committee last Thursday for of the official objection period.

The LEZ aims to reduce air pollution, since it presents a significant threat to public health. It is especially harmful to young children, the elderly and those suffering from pre-existing conditions, including heart and lung diseases.

LEZs are being introduced across Scotland’s four largest cities: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee in response to dangerous levels of air pollution generated by road traffic. The LEZ will improve public health by discouraging the most polluting vehicles from entering an area.

Last year we ran a consultation between June & September 2021 which received over 5,000 responses.

Following the consultation, an objection period ran from 1 February to 1 March 2022. During this time we received 26 objections and 1 letter of support. Objections were from a mixture of individuals, businesses and organisations including some Community Councils.

The most common objections were about;

  • the LEZ boundary should be wider or smaller
  • the process for assessing local exemptions
  • the modelling/evidence base & how robust it was

The next step for the LEZ is to submit the proposal to Scottish Ministers for approval. Assuming approval is granted by Ministers, the LEZ will be introduced on 31 May 2022. There will be a two year ‘grace period’, meaning it won’t be enforced until June 2024.

There are various LEZ related support funds for businesses and households available for other sustainable transport options

The Proposed LEZ will align with the Councils;

Approval given to proceed with proposal to designate Edinburgh as Short-term Let Control Area

On Wednesday at Planning Committee, proposals were approved to designate the City of Edinburgh Council area as a short-term let (STL) control area.

The proposal follows a consultation with the public as well as industry bodies. 

The majority of respondents to the consultation were in favour of a control area, with 88% supporting the principle of it, and 85% supporting the entire City of Edinburgh Council area to be included.

A report of the consultation forms part of our Report to Planning Committee. 

The designation cannot come to effect without the approval of Scottish Government. A request will be submitted to the Scottish Government requesting that the new powers are implemented in the whole of the Edinburgh area.

If the government agree with this approach, and the new legislation is implemented in the city, it will require residential property owners wholly letting a property which is not their principle home as an STL in the local authority area, to apply for planning permission for a ‘change of use’ to a short-term let.

Short-term lets of private rooms or shared rooms where the property is the only or principal home of the host will not be affected by the control area requirement. This allows for house swaps at holidays and also for the host to let out the entire property when on holiday or working away, provided the property remains their only or principal home.

If approval is given by the Scottish Government, the designation will be publicised in advance of coming into effect. 

The introduction of powers to make a control area follows the Council calling for new legislation to tighten up the control of short-term lets to help manage high concentrations of secondary letting where it affects the availability of residential housing and character of a neighbourhood.

Also, it will help to restrict or prevent short-term lets in places or types of buildings where they are not appropriate as well as making sure homes are used to best effect.

Complementary to the control area legislation, the Scottish Parliament has approved legislation which will introduce a new licensing scheme requiring short-term lets to be licensed from July 2024.  It will address the issues of safety, anti-social behaviour and noise.

To keep up to date with the Short-term Lets Control Area;

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City Plan 2030: Consultation Closed

The 20th of December saw the end of the consultation period for submitting formal representations to the proposed City Plan 2030. 

The Council will now carefully consider the representations received.  Once the Council has completed its deliberations the proposed plan, along with its representations, will be submitted to Scottish Ministers for formal examination.  The indicative time scale for that stage of the plan process is set out in the approved Development Plan Scheme.  

You can find out further information about the City Plan 2030 here: www.edinburgh.gov.uk/cityplan2030

Individual documents, including the plan’s written statement, can be viewed here: City Plan 2030 – background documents – The City of Edinburgh Council

You can keep up to date with the City Plan project by:

  • subscribing to our blog
  • following us on twitter at @planningedin
  • joining in the conversation by using the #cityplan2030 hashtag

City Plan 2030: Consultation Closing Soon

There is less than a week left to make representations on our Proposed Local Development Plan: City Plan 2030 which closes on 20th December 2021.

Representations can be in support of or object to any aspect of the proposed plan and should set out any changes you wish to see. Comments can also be made on the Environmental Report and background documents.

The consultation hub contains the plan in full and you can comment on each section in turn or simply navigate to the part you wish to comment on.

We have prepared a Quick Guide to City Plan 2030 This gives an overview of each section of the plan and what it contains plus more information on the plan and the process. We have also prepared a quick guide to assist you in submitting a representation on the consultation hub.

The proposed plan sets out locations for new homes and businesses, where new infrastructure and facilities are required and how we will protect places of value. It also includes policies which will be used to determine future planning applications and will shape the city over the next 10 years and beyond, while also developing our city for a net-zero future.

Find out more

Visit the City Plan 2030 webpage for details of online public briefing sessions or you can keep up to date with the City Plan project by:

  • subscribing to our blog
  • following us on twitter at @planningedin
  • joining in the conversation by using the #CityPlan2030 hashtag