Short Term Lets: Drop-in session on proposed changes to our Guidance for Businesses

Row of Edinburgh tenements with some trees in the foreground.

We will be holding a drop-in session on proposed changes to our Guidance for Businesses and specifically the expanded section on short term lets.

  • When:  1.00pm – 4.30pm on Wednesday 9 November
  • Where: Planning and Building Standards front counter area at Waverley Court (4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG)

Members of the planning team will be on hand to explain the proposed, answer any questions and get your feedback.

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’s short-term let control area has now been in place since 5 September 2022.

Come along if you

  • live in an area where properties are let out for short breaks
  • offer flats or houses for holiday lets in Edinburgh
  • are an interested member of the public

Complete the online consultation here by 22 December 2022.

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.

Updated Guidance for Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

Front Cover of Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas (October 2022). Nice view of row of townhouses in New Town.

We’ve updated our Non-Statutory Guidance for Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas, with changes to the guidance on roof terraces, ensuite bathrooms and how listed building consent applications are assessed.

Windows

We also provide more detail in the guidance on windows in Listed Buildings and what is now called ‘narrow profile glazing’, previously known as ‘slim profile glazing’.

Where it is proposed to install narrow profile glazing in listed buildings, the guidance still advises that the 6mm cavity gap between two 4mm panes is the maximum we will usually accept. Larger cavity gaps may be accepted in certain circumstances and the guidance sets out what these would be.

Listed building consent applications for narrow profile glazing in existing windows must be accompanied by cross section drawings detailing the depth of the cavity gap and glazing panes. Without this information we are unable to assess the application and it will not be progressed. Full details are included in the guidance.

Our full range of non-statutory guidance is available at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/planningguidelines

Customer Update – Help us to help you

We are continuing to experience a record level of applications since our last Customer Update a few weeks ago. Whilst this is positive for the City, it is a particularly challenging time for the service as it is coinciding with reduced resources.

To manage the workload effectively, a new system has been put in place where new applications are being put in a holding system until a case officer becomes available. This approach will ensure that workloads are manageable for case officers.

We will be dealing with applications in chronological order and once assigned, the case officer will only contact you if:

1) additional information is required to assess the application;

2) amendments are needed to your proposals; or

3) your application is likely to be refused.

We remain committed to providing good customer care for each application but inevitably, it is going to take longer than normal to process applications. Because we are concentrating on determining applications as quickly as possible, there will be an impact on other aspects of our work such as responding to queries.

Help us to help you:

It would help significantly if you could provide the following information at the time of application submission (or whilst it is hold):

  • Photographs showing the location of the work and the wider context (including interiors for listed building consent applications)
  • Dimensions on the plans
  • Contextual information i.e. neighbouring windows/ extensions (if relevant)
  • 45 degree daylighting calculations (if relevant)

Before applying please read our planning guidelines – these answer a lot of commonly asked questions, including for;

Your patience and understanding is appreciated. We will get there but it is going to take longer.

Contextual Plans

Due to the current Covid restrictions, planning officers are unable to undertake site visits.

However, it is important for everybody that we keep assessing and determining planning applications.

If you are submitting a planning application, it would be extremely helpful to us if you could provide photographs and relevant contextual plans as part of your submission. This information will be requested but it would help the assessment process go faster if they are provided at the start. Photographs do not need to be made publicly available.  

As always, we have a wide range of planning guidance available on our website.

For more information about how the current restrictions are affecting our service, see the Planning and Building Standards coronavirus update.