Blackpool hoteliers welcome government move to crackdown on unregulated holiday homes
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Ministers have launched a consultation around potential new planning rules to restrict the spread of short term lets which are much less regulated than traditional hotels and b&bs.
In Blackpool there are around 454 short term lets operating, with many outside the traditional holiday areas.
The spread of tourist accommodation into residential neighbourhoods has led to complaints about noise, anti-social behaviour, parking and rubbish collection.
Hoteliers group StayBlackpool is campaigning for its Blackpool Approved Visitor Accommodation Scheme to be made compulsory in the town including for the short lettings sector.
Claire Smith, president of StayBlackpool, said she welcomed the consultation launched by the government.
She said: “This is most certainly a step forward although the government are just at the consultation stage so we’re a long way off any actual action.
“I’ve read the papers and am really pleased that the government has a good grasp of all the concerns, issues and problems created by such platforms but, as with any new proposals, it’s all in the detail.
“StayBlackpool will respond and certainly part of that response will contain our absolute belief that a compulsory registration scheme is necessary.
“If it is anything less then we’re back to the situation where only the “good” business owners comply or adhere.
“One of the main problems in the accommodation sector is that there is lots of legalities, compliances, rules and regulations to be followed, but if no-one is checking that a property is legal and safe then that leaves the industry open to those unscrupulous traders which reflects badly on us all.
“So, certainly a step in the right direction but we need to ensure that the government get this right and introduce a scheme that is fit for purpose, without loopholes and definitely one that is compulsory.”
Culture secretary Lucy Frazer said while short term lets gave tourists more choice, it was important to get the balance right.
She added the consultation would “give us the data we need to assess the position and enable us to address the concerns communities face.”