Lifeline for communities under threat from unbridled air BnB growth

Councillor welcomes brake on expanding holiday lets

The new Planning Bill which Holyrood passed on June 20 includes “new powers for local authorities to introduce control areas where planning permission will always be required if owners want to change the use of their property to short-term lets”*.

East Neuk & Landward councillor Linda Holt welcomed these new powers for councils. She said:

“The proliferation of Air BnB and other short-term letting has become a major problem in parts of Edinburgh, which is why the Scottish Government has introduced these new powers.

The market for second homes and holiday letting in St Andrews and the East Neuk has had negative impacts. It has driven up prices, reducing housing availability for permanent residents and helping to price many locals out of the housing market altogether. It also undermines the health and vibrancy of communities as it leads to depopulation and a decline in local services and amenities, if they do not serve holiday-makers.

Fife Council now has a tool which gives it a brake on the growth in holiday-lets, and I will be urging the administration at Fife Council to designate both St Andrews and the East Neuk as control areas.

Tourism is the lifeblood of the East Neuk, but it is important to balance its needs against the needs of our resident communities. Otherwise we risk ruining the very thing which makes the East Neuk so attractive to visitors and residents alike.”


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