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Countryside campaigners back Gove on short lets clampdown

Countryside campaigning charity CPRE has given a warm welcome to Michael Gove’s clampdown on short lets.

Last week Housing Secretary Gove announced that councils will be given greater power to control future short-term lets by making them subject to planning consent.

Meanwhile, a new mandatory national register will give local authorities the information they need about short-term lets in their area, and the government suggests this “will help councils understand the extent of short-term lets in their area, the effects on their communities, and underpin compliance with key health and safety regulations.”


Existing homeowners will effectively get retrospective planning consent and will still be able to let out their own main or sole home without planning consent but only for up to 90 nights throughout a year.

Generation Rent and other activist groups, along with the Labour Party, have given qualified support to the clampdown and now they have been joined by Paul Miner, head of campaigns and policy at CPRE.

He says: “These new planning rules are good news for rural communities. Everyone deserves a home they can afford to live in. 

“But the recent surge in short-term lets has prevented people in the countryside from finding housing they can afford to buy or rent, and in some cases local workers have been turfed out of their rented accommodation.

“We have long led calls on the government to introduce a second home and short-term lets register, with local authorities having the power to regulate the provision of short-term lets and to levy extra council tax on second homes. It’s pleasing to see the government has finally done the right thing by introducing these changes.

“Our own research shows that the explosion in the number of homes marketed for Airbnb-style short-term lets is strangling rural communities. The worsening housing crisis is felt most acutely in rural areas which is why we’ve been calling for rapid action from the government.

“We want everyone in the countryside to have a fair chance in life, whatever their circumstances. To make this a reality, we need to ensure there are enough low cost homes to rent or buy in our villages and market towns.”

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  • John  Adams

    There has to be a balance between the two, but be careful of what you wish for, no visitors means no income. There are many many seaside and other rural towns that are struggling as it is (I suggest watching a chap called Wendel on YouTube for a real tour of Britain today) driving away tourists and then wondering why what was left of the town has died completely will be too late.

  • icon

    Didn't the government a few years ago want people to spend their vacations in the UK instead of going abroad?

    Surely, the hotels filled up and were overflowing. Landlords being taxed to hell took the opportunity to fill the void and keep the tourists money in the UK economy.

    So what happens if all of the Airbnb places close and anyone that has some spare money wants to go on holiday? they spend it overseas.

    The government and housing charities will never be happy. The government needs to build more homes.

    I currently don't own any short term lets, but am thinking about buying a house in a place where it could go either way. so I have something to fall back on when the government screw me over even more for offering good quality AST's to families.

    Sadly there are a lot of people that can never afford to buy, so someone has to rent them a house. Either a private landlord or the government, or they are homeless.

    It's sad to say that in my eyes, the more the government and the likes of Gen Rant and shelter hit out at landlords, the more people they will make homeless.

    Trying to put as much money in the bank as possible, but opening a new account these days with a new bank that offers good interest rates is quite a challenge.


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