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.

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Removing ‘A’ boards from our pavements & reducing clutter

 

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Since November, a citywide ban on ‘A’ boards and other temporary adverts has been in force. This is primarily to improve pedestrian safety and accessibility on our streets. It is part of wider efforts to help create a more welcoming, clutter-free city for everyone.

Environmental Wardens are working closely with businesses and are reporting good results across the city. Businesses have adapted to the ban in a variety of ways, including by incorporating advertising into barriers around tables and chairs (for which they have a licence) or putting a sign on their walls or windows (if allowed).

There are lots of places to go for businesses looking for more information on advertising or guidance to help them through this ongoing change;

As you can see from our photo gallery above, removing A-Boards can help make a huge difference for people with mobility issues getting around Edinburgh. By removing barriers on our pavements, it is hoped that people can move more freely across the city and businesses will feel the benefit from shoppers attracted by better pavements.

If you wish to report any A-Boards which you feel should be looked at by an Environmental Warden, please email us at aboards@edinburgh.gov.uk.

City Plan 2030 – Visitor Accommodation Seminar

As City Plan 2030 moves forward, we are holding more events on key subjects such as the Housing Seminar we shared just over a week ago. The events are attended by people who work in these areas and are a way of sharing and gaining knowledge in specific topics.

Our most recent event was on the subject of visitor accommodation, (such as hotels, short-term lets, hostels and guest houses) dealing with the growth of tourism and the impact on the property market.

We invited those involved in building or running visitor accommodation, or with a stake in this activity. With over 60 people signed up to attend, we heard from a range of perspectives.

The first speaker was Jim Galloway,  our Head of Enterprise and Innovation at the Council, who covered the trends in tourist numbers over the last few years, why they have changed, and what issues may affect these numbers in the future.

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The next speakers were Dr Mark Robertson of Ryden, Andrew Renouf of GVA and Ian Derrick of GVA who discussed the current state of the property market for this sector.

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This was followed by a discussion session with input from both industry and community representatives, on the topic of how to address the growth of visitor numbers in City Plan 2030, with a range of views given and discussed.

The final speaker was Keith Miller from our City Plan team who gave an outline of City Plan 2030 and how we will be involving more people in the discussion in the future.

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The event was closed by Councillor Lezley Cameron who rounded off the event and addressed a few key points and issues which came up.

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Next year we intend to hold a further event on the subject of the retail and leisure sector. Watch this space! If you’d like to give us your own views on this subject, let us know in the comments, or email us at cityplan2030@edinburgh.gov.uk