Home owners get go ahead to let house while working abroad

Tuesday February 6th 2024


Flat in duplex properties in Dalkeith ahas won right to be used as holiday let while owners work abroad.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A couple who work away from home have won their fight to let their house as a short term holiday property when they are not there.

Colin and Norma Peckham were refused a change of use for their home in Eskview Grove, Dalkeith, to a holiday let after planners said it would have an impact on the residential housing market at a time when there was a lack of properties.

The couple argued that it made no difference to the housing market as it was their main home when they were in the country and forcing them to let it for long term rentals could leave them homeless themselves when they returned from work.

At a meeting of Midlothian Council’s Local Review Body yesterday councillors upheld the couple’s appeal against the decision.

Councillor Dianne Alexander said: “The home is the main residence of the people who own it so I think letting it out short term allows them to have their main home and let it out when they are working abroad.”

The meeting heard from Councillor Peter Smaill that the property, which was visited by members, was “very professionally managed” and no complaints had been made by neighbours.

Councillor Connor McManus raised his concerns about allowing short term lets during a housing crisis. A report by officers highlighting the issue said Midlothian Council had a waiting list of 4468 housing applications; 906 in Dalkeith alone.

Councillor McManus said: “I do always, in the back of my mind, have that we do have a housing crisis. Midlothian is really short of houses and I am not minded to support something like that when so many people are looking for somewhere to live not a short term let.”

However Councillor Douglas Bowen said: “Much as I am aware of the pressures on housing, I can’t see any net benefit to the council to refusing this.

“It is the main home of these people and if we refuse the chances are it is going to lie empty for quite long periods.”

The committee agreed to uphold the appeal and allow the home to be used as a holiday let.

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