Proposal for Regulation of Short-Term Lets in Brighton

Green councillor Ellen McLeay is proposing a motion to require planning consent for Airbnb-style short lets in Brighton. This proposal will be discussed at an upcoming city council meeting. McLeay aims to utilize Article 4 Direction powers to control properties used for short lets or as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). Article 4 Directions can remove certain permitted development rights, necessitating property owners to seek planning permission for specified changes.

Additionally, McLeay plans to ask council leader Bella Sankey to write to the government, requesting that all councils be given the authority to regulate short-term lets, thereby closing existing loopholes. This initiative is supported by other Green councillors, including Chloe Goldsmith, who emphasizes the importance of addressing housing market issues in Brighton, particularly the impact of short-term lets on renters. Goldsmith highlights that the previous Tory government failed to fulfill its promise to empower councils to regulate short-term lets and expresses hope that the current Labour government will take action.

The regulation of short-term lets is seen as a way to mitigate negative impacts on the housing market, such as reduced availability of long-term rental properties, which exacerbates housing shortages and drives up rents. By initiating the process now, the Brighton council aims to be ready to implement regulations swiftly if granted the necessary powers. The new Labour government’s stance on this issue will be crucial in determining the success of such initiatives. If granted, these powers could set a precedent for other cities facing similar housing market challenges.

Councillor Ellen McLeay’s proposal underscores a proactive approach to addressing housing market issues in Brighton. The use of Article 4 Direction powers and the call for broader regulatory authority aim to improve housing availability and affordability for renters. The support from other councillors and the anticipation of potential government action underscore the urgency and importance of this initiative.

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