New Licensing laws being proposed for short-term let housing could have a devastating impact on Scotland's rural communities at a time when people are reelin from the wide-scale impacts of Covid-19, according to Scottish Land & Estates (SLE).
In response to the Scottish Government consultation on a licensing scheme for short-term lets, which includes glamping sites, B&Bs and holiday cottages, SLE reiterated its major concern that these proposals have been shaped with mainly urban hot spot areas in mind and fails to take into account the important role short-term lets play across rural Scotland by providing housing for communities and workers, as well as bringing in vital tourism.
SLE also highlighted its concerns that:
- Licensing fees and administration costs have been significantly underestimated with some licenses potentially costing thousands of pounds
- The consultation process is potentially in breach of Scottish Government's own best practice guidelines in terms of transparency, accountability, proportionality, and consistency.
- The Scottish Government's 'Rural Scotland Key Facts' report published in February 2021 contains important and directly pertinent information which calls into question much of the motivation and reasoning for the licensing of short term lets across Scotland, and rural areas in particular.
- The Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA) has failed in its duty to take a Scotland-wide view of the industry, is deeply flawed and recent resignations from the related industry working group show it is not widely supported by affected businesses
- By the proposals being taken forward as secondary legislation, this does not offer an appropriate level of scrutiny for such a fundamental change and at a time of crisis for the sector that will be most heavily impacted.
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Source - Scottish Housing News