Home owner challenges holiday let ban

Friday February 2nd 2024


Flat in duplex properties in Dalkeith was refused permission to operate as short term holiday let.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

Flat owners have hit back after planners refused to let them rent it out as a holiday home while they worked abroad because, they claimed, it took vital housing off the market.

Colin and Norma Peckham applied for a change of use for their home in Eskmill Grove, Dalkeith, so they could continue operating it as a short term holiday let when they were away from home.

However Midlothian planners rejected their application saying visiting guests would have an unacceptable impact on other residents and that a shortfall in housing in the town was too high to lose it to the holiday market.

In an appeal against the decision, the couple describe the argument over a lack of housing as ‘irrational’ .

They say: “The very purpose of a home letting application is for the use of your own home when you’re not in it.

“Denying that does not increase available housing stock, since the dwelling is already somebody’s home. Insisting that we do long term lets on this property would have the effect of rendering us homeless!

“We do not have another home to move to. We travel extensively for work, but are rarely if ever away for more than 60 days.”

The couple added they had good relations with their neighbours and a separate access for their property. No objections the the application were received.

Planners rejected the change of use saying a flatted dwelling being used as a short term let, even with its own door, would cause “a significantly detrimental effect on the living conditions and amenity of nearby residents”.

And they said: “Whilst not wholly relevant in this particular instance, due to the applicant occupying the property on an infrequent basis, it is noted that the demand for Midlothian Council housing waiting list is significant at 4468 housing applications; 906 in Dalkeith alone.

“The change of use of the flatted dwelling to a short term let results in the loss of residential accommodation for permanent residents within Midlothian.”

Midlothian Council’s Local Review Body will hear the appeal next week.

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