The consultation published on 12 April by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities proposes introducing planning permission for an existing home to start to be used as a short term let – helping support local people in areas where high numbers of holiday lets are preventing them from finding affordable housing.
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.
Secretary of State for Levelling Up Housing and Communities, Michael Gove 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.
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 new proposals come as the Department for Culture Media and Sport also launches a separate consultation on a new registration scheme for short-term lets.
The scheme aims to build a picture of how many short-term lets there are and where they are located, to help understand the impact of short-term lets on communities.
The Consultation on the introduction of a use class for short term lets and associated permitted development rights is available at this link and closes on 7 June 2023:
The Consultation on a registration scheme for short term lets in England is available at this link and closes on 7 June 2023:
Ministers have recently launched a consultation on plans where homeowners would need planning permission before converting buildings into short-term holiday lets.
It is part of government plans aimed at easing housing problems.
Conservatives Simon Jupp and Anthony Mangnall said the proposals would help to strike a "better balance" between holiday lets and long-term rentals.
Mr Jupp, MP for East Devon, said the county needed "strong communities all year round, not ghost towns half the year".
Totnes MP Mr Mangnall said the measures would "provide local control over the future of our towns, villages and coastal communities".
However, North Devon's Conservative MP, Selaine Saxby said while it was welcome, other action was needed to lure landlords back to long-term rentals.
She said: "We need more homes for local families, but there is no point building if those properties are just instantly made into holiday lets, we need to use the housing stock we have more effectively and find ways to encourage more long-term landlords back to North Devon."
Labour MPs Luke Pollard (Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport) and Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) both criticised the government for scrapping housebuilding targets.
"If the Government is serious about tackling the housing crisis in the South West, it must also fix the surge in second homes and build more genuinely affordable homes," Mr Pollard said.
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