New Use Class Order & Permitted Development Rights for Short-Term Lets

A holiday home is on the left, overlooking a beach

Arguably, the absence of clear policies and legislation regarding short-term rentals has frequently left planners grappling with the challenge of navigating the ambiguous territory of short-term rentals and planning regulations.

However, it has been recently confirmed that the government will be introducing new legislation in the Summer, including a new use class and new permitted development rights for short-term lets, that should provide guidance on this previously grey area of planning.

Use Class:

In April of last year, the government consulted on several adjustments concerning short-term rentals, including the proposal for a new use classification. Termed “C5 Short Term Let,” this classification would allow local planning authorities to evaluate and potentially determine planning applications for new short-term rental properties under specified conditions.

Under the proposed framework, a short-term rental property would be defined as the “use of a dwellinghouse that is not a sole or main residence for temporary sleeping accommodation for the purpose of holiday, leisure, recreation, business or other travel“.

Current short-term rental property owners would not be required to seek planning permission for the new use classification. However, local planning authorities could attach conditions to planning permissions for new short-term rental developments, stipulating compliance with the C5 classification.

Permitted Development Rights:

Additionally, the proposed changes include the introduction of two new permitted development rights. These rights would facilitate the conversion of residential dwellings into short-term rental units, offering flexibility in areas where short-term rentals are not a significant concern. The rights would only be restricted in areas where local authorities implement Article 4 directions to address specific local issues.

Registration Scheme:

Separately to the planning changes, the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) also held a consultation on a new registration scheme for short-term lets. Similar registration schemes for short-term let properties have already been introduced in other countries, allowing for more reliable monitoring and consistent safety standards.

The government has confirmed that these measures will be introduced from this summer, alongside further information on the timeline for implementation of the register, the use class and the individual permitted development rights.

At EP we have a wide breadth of knowledge regarding planning matters. We are an interdisciplinary team and will be able to advise and support you in all planning, architectural and landscape needs. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you with all planning matters.

No Statutory instruments are laid before the house of commons on short term lets and none are made so proposal falls with prorogation today. 

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