New Planning Rules Aim to Safeguard Local Communities from Short-Term Lets

The Government is introducing a new Use Class of C5 to control AirBnB and Short Term Lets.

Pivotal changes in planning regulations aiming to control short-term lets look set to become law this year. 

Under these reforms, councils will have authority to regulate short-term lets, subjecting them to the scrutiny of the planning process. This proactive approach seeks to improve the availability of affordable housing. Read more here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-a-registration-scheme-for-short-term-lets-in-england/consultation-on-a-registration-scheme-for-short-term-lets-in-england

National Register

A crucial component of this initiative is the introduction of a mandatory national register, empowering local authorities with comprehensive insights into short-term lets within their jurisdiction. The register of information will furnish councils with a list of short-term lets. Councils could then measure impact of short-term lets on communities, and bolster adherence to vital health and safety protocols.

Homeowners will still enjoy the liberty to let out their primary or sole residence for up to 90 nights annually without the rigours of planning permission. Efforts are also underway to ensure that the register doesn’t disproportionately encumber sporadic property rental activities.

Permitted Right

Furthermore, the government intends to introduce associated permitted development rights tailored to short-term lets. This will delineate pathways for conversion between residential and short-term let usage. Notably, these regulations will specifically target short-term lets, leaving hotels, hostels, and B&Bs unaffected.

Nuances within the regulatory framework warrant careful scrutiny.

New Use Class C5

We are yet to know if the proposed changes will only apply to short term holiday lets or Airbnb or that are let for 90 days or less. What is clear however is that there will be a permitted right to change use from a dwellinghouse (C3) to the new short-term let class C5. 

Local authorities would need an Article 4 to block C5. The imposition of an Article 4 direction is subject to a lengthy adoption process – potentially up to 2 years. With many local authorities wishing to see AirBnB activity restricted owners intending to take advantage of the limited permitted right should exercise this right as soon as possible. 

If you want to do this Planning Direct can help. Get in touch once the legislation receives Royal Assent.

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