Newtongrange Airbnb should not be for hen and stag parties say protestors

Wednesday April 12th 2023


Newtongrange flat is used as an Airbnb but has been refused planning permission.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

An Airbnb in a Midlothian housing estate should be used for family lets only, said protesters who complained it attracted hen and stag parties.

The owner of the first floor flat, in Newtongrange, has appealed after Midlothian planners rejected a retrospective application to change its use to a holiday let.

Objectors said the flat, which is in a block of four, had “constant new ‘neighbours’ from groups of people including hen parties, stag parties and festival workers who frequently come and go during unsociable hours.”

And they told planners the property should “at the very least be only for family bookings and for long term lets instead of different people staying who have zero care or regard for the actual people who live here permanently”.

However owner of the flat Angela Bardens, who gave her home address as Rush Commons Mews, London, insisted she has not received a single complaint from neighbours since she began operating the home as a short term let in 2019.

And in an appeal due to be heard by the council’s Local Review Body next week she says she is ‘completely unaware’ of any complaints from neighbours adding any issues which they have raised in the past have always been dealt with.

Planners rejected the change of use after receiving three objections from one address and raising their own concerns about the loss of a family home to short term rentals at a time when housing waiting lists were so high.

In their report rejecting the application they said: “Demand on the Midlothian Council housing waiting list is significant at 4,440 housing applications.

“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 which also results in an unacceptable impact on local amenity and the character of the area.”

However the property owner said the flat was her ‘second home’ and would never be available for long term rent because she and her family used it a number of times a year which was why short term lets were offered.

The appeal will be heard by the review body on Monday next week.

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