11:24 AM, 13th April 2023, About 8 months ago 5
A consultation has been launched by the government to protect the UK’s ‘cherished towns’ that will see holiday homeowners being forced to get planning permission for letting their property and if it is in England, it will need to be registered.
The move will mean that landlords with holiday homes in tourist hotspots will be blocked from listing them on various platforms such as Airbnb.
The plans have been revealed by the Levelling up secretary Michael Gove who said: “Tourism brings many benefits to our economy but in too many communities we have seen local people pushed out of cherished towns, cities and villages by huge numbers of short-term lets.
“I’m determined that we ensure that more people have access to local homes at affordable prices, and that we prioritise families desperate to rent or buy a home of their own close to where they work.”
He added: “I have listened to representations from MPs in tourist hot spots and am pleased to launch this consultation to introduce a requirement for planning permissions for short term lets.”
The government says that its plans will help strengthen the tourism sector and the introduction of planning permission for an existing property to be used as a short-term let will help local people in those areas where high numbers of holiday homes prevent them from finding an affordable home.
The consultation will also look at whether the owner should have flexibility for letting a property for a specified number of nights per year without needing planning permission.
The consultation on introducing planning permission for holiday homes comes after the Department for Culture, Media and Sport unveiled a separate consultation that would mean short-term lets in England would have to join a new registration scheme.
The aim of the scheme is to illustrate how many short-term lets there are in the country, where they are and understand how they are impacting local communities.
The culture secretary, Lucy Frazer, said: “This new world of ultra-flexible short term lets gives tourists more choice than ever before, but it should not come at the expense of local people being able to own their own home and stay local.
“The Government wants to help areas get the balance right, and today we have an incomplete picture of the size and spread of our short term lets market.”
She added: “This consultation on a national registration scheme will give us the data we need to assess the position and enable us to address the concerns communities face.”
The government says it is responding to complaints from people living in tourist hotspots that they are being priced out of homes to buy or rent and help provide more affordable housing, so they continue living and working in the place they call home.