Labour promises to ‘go further’ on short lets clampdown

Labour says more needs to be done to stop communities being hit by the boom in holiday homes booked through Airbnb.


Labour says the Government is not going far enough with its clampdown on holiday lets, promising go further if it gains power.

Lettings in holiday hotspots may require planning approval under new rules being considered by the Government.

Ministers say they want to curb high numbers of lettings pricing local people out of the market, and consultation from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is due to close on 7 June.

It will also consider whether to give owners flexibility to let out their home for up to a specified number of nights in a calendar year without the need for planning permission.

Matthew Pennycock MP

But Shadow housing and planning spokesman Matthew Pennycock told a House of Commons debate that although Labour supports the planning reforms, the Government must ‘do more’.

“The package currently on offer from the Government still falls short of the comprehensive suite of measures that we would like to see enacted at pace to tackle this problem.”

He said Labour wants a discretionary licensing scheme to be introduced for holiday lets.

“The more fundamental issue is the frankly glacial pace of the Government’s overall response to the challenges posed to communities across the country by the surge in short-term holiday lets.”

Rachel Maclean MP

Housing minister Rachel Maclean responded by saying the Government firmly believed in its plans.

“Every Member from every party has highlighted the issue of the hollowing out of communities, the impact of that on schools and other services, and the fact that the growth of short-term letting might in itself be having an impact on local businesses that serve the tourism industry, such as restaurants and cafés.

“That is why we are consulting on changes that will provide local areas, where there is a concentration of such usage, with the necessary tools to help them to strike the right balance between supporting tourism and providing housing for local communities.”

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