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Categories: government and politics | holiday lets

In an attempt to address the ‘hollowing out’ of certain communities, Michael Gove has announced a policy that will see holiday let properties require planning permission from the local authority, as well as the introduction of a national register for short-term lets.

Why is this policy being introduced?

In recent years, tourist destinations such as Cornwall, the Lake District and Brighton have seen huge upticks in footfall, and many home-owners in these areas (as well as landlord investors nationally) have capitalised on this demand by providing holiday-let properties to visitors on a short-term basis.

An unintended consequence of this, however, is that as demand remains steady and supply of properties in these areas dwindles, locals are finding themselves unable to afford property in places where they grew up.

This is the problem Housing Secretary Michael Gove hopes to solve with the policy, whilst striking a balance between supporting the tourism economy, and ensuring local residents have access to affordable housing in their communities.

What are the announced proposals?

Under the new regulations, those looking to let property on a short-term basis will have to seek planning permission from their local authority to do so.

In addition to gaining planning permission, the Government has also announced the introduction of a national register of short-let properties – allowing local authorities to discern information about specific short-term lets within their catchment area.

However, it should be said that the planning regulations as well as the national register will only apply to properties being rented out for more than 90 nights a year.

Gove emphasised the need to ensure that families and young people are not priced out of their local housing markets, while also acknowledging the importance of short-term lets to the tourism industry. He said:

Short-term lets can play an important role in the UK’s flourishing tourism economy, providing great, easily-accessible accommodation in some of the most beautiful parts of our country.

But in some areas, too many local families and young people feel they are being shut out of the housing market and denied the opportunity to rent or buy in their own community.

So the Government is taking action as part of its long-term plan for housing. That means delivering more of the right homes in the right places, and giving communities the power to decide.

This will allow local communities to take back control and strike the right balance between protecting the visitor economy and ensuring local people get the homes they need.

This sentiment was echoed by Tourism Minister Julia Lopez:

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.

The tourism minister emphasises the government's commitment to striking a balance between supporting the visitor economy and safeguarding housing access for local residents.

Overall, the government's proposals represent a step towards addressing the challenges posed by short-term lets while fostering community resilience and housing affordability.

By striking a balance between supporting tourism and safeguarding local housing markets, these measures aim to create sustainable and vibrant communities across the UK.