SPC responds to NALC/DCMS consultation on Short Term Holiday Lets - Saltford Parish Council

UPDATED 23 September 2022

Saltford Parish Council has been informed that following its response to the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) – please see article below – that NALC has responded to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) consultation on short term holiday lets on behalf of Parish Councils.

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has called for the government to introduce licensing for all short-term holiday lets.

In response to the recent consultation by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on short-term holiday lets, NALC stated that the government should tighten regulation by developing and introducing a licensing scheme for all short-term holiday lets, with physical checks of premises.

NALC went on to say it would go a long way in reducing anti-social behaviour at these properties. It would also baseline minimum hygiene, health and safety standards at such properties, providing reassurance for landlords and holidaymakers.

The government’s Tourism Recovery Plan, published in June 2021, included a commitment to consider a possible Tourist Accommodation Registration Scheme in England. The purpose of the call for evidence is to gather the information that will improve the government’s understanding of the benefits and challenges of short-term lets across England as a whole and how they vary across the country. The evidence will help the government determine whether there are options they should pursue through a consultation.

A copy of NALC’s full response can be found here.

Original article published 7 September:

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) will be responding to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) consultation on short term holiday lets in September. Parish Councils were approached by the Avon Local Council Association (ALCA) to respond to NALC, specifically regarding questions 6-10 of the DCMS consultation.

Saltford Parish Council resolved its respond to NALC at its September 2022 meeting, as follows:

Short Term Holiday Lets DCMS Consultation – SPC Responses to NALC Questions

Impact on the housing market

Question 6: Do you consider the increase in short-term and holiday letting in England to have had adverse consequences on the housing market?

Option 1 Yes, this is a major problem

Please provide evidence in brief to supplement your response

SPC’s answer is based on anecdotal evidence from other areas, e.g. Cornwall where the lack of affordable homes for the resident population is a serious and direct consequence of the demand for holiday homes, and not for Saltford which is not a major holiday destination apart from limited short term lets connected to visiting the wider area including Bath and Bristol for weekend breaks, family anniversary/birthday gatherings, Hen Parties etc.

Noise, anti-social or other nuisance behaviour by guests

Question 7: Do you consider noise, anti-social or nuisance behaviour in short-term and holiday lets in England to be a problem? If so, why?

Option 2 Yes, but this is only a minor problem

Please provide evidence in brief to supplement your response

Saltford has experienced some problems where, for example, a large AirBnB property was not adequately managed on site (owners lived elsewhere) so that noise and anti-social behaviour by, for example, Hen Parties, became a serious problem for immediate neighbours. This matter was resolved via the planning system where the change of use from residential to commercial leisure accommodation (commercial holiday let) planning application was required and then refused and the property reverted to residential use.

Adequate on-site management of the property, in particular where groups (parties) can hire a large property is essential to prevent anti-social behaviour by guests from becoming a problem in or near residential areas.

Impact on local communities and residents

Question 8: Aside from the impacts on housing and incidents of anti-social/nuisance behaviour, do you consider the increase in short-term and holiday letting in England to have had other adverse impacts on local communities and residents?

Option 1 Yes

Please provide evidence in brief to supplement your response

The increase in staycations and short term lets (weekend breaks) as well as the construction of new housing developments without the provision of new public parks for residents to relax etc. during periods of fine weather can put an unacceptable pressure on neighbouring communities that have recreational attractions such as riverside or lakeside areas. This has become a major problem for Saltford in recent years where our riverside areas are also residential. A combination of noise, anti-social behaviour and traffic congestion from visitors that gridlock minor residential roads, has become a significant safety issue for residents. Increases in short-term holiday letting in the wider area can only contribute to this growing problem (of new housing developments not being accompanied by public parks) and the general lack of facilities to cater for recreational activities of different age groups whether visitors from neighbouring communities or those using short-term let properties.

Potential policy responses & their impacts

Question 9: Which of the following do you consider to be the most appropriate form of Government intervention in the short-term letting market?

4 Develop a registration scheme with light-touch checks

Please provide evidence in brief to supplement your response

The short-term letting sector provides an important contribution to local economies, and for recreational/holiday users. Any registration scheme needs to be balanced and not be a deterrent from the provision of short-term holiday lets.

Question 10: What do you consider to be the costs and associated burdens of these options, who would bear the costs and how might they be mitigated?

As a Parish Council, SPC lacks the expertise or experience of the short-term letting sector to provide a meaningful response, but presumably any additional costs would be passed on to customers. However, a “three strikes and your out” approach for noise/ASB as a repercussion for short-term lets that have an adverse affect on the local community might be a registration/enforcement approach, as used overseas, that could work. It will already be a stressful situation for many residents living near problematic visitor accommodation. It is important therefore that burdens are not placed on neighbouring residents to keep detailed records of noise and ASB associated with the checks and regulation of visitor accommodation.

Change of use to visitor accommodation for large properties should require a planning application at the outset to give the local community and local councils a chance to comment on the suitability or otherwise of such an application. Planning enforcement teams need the right tools, i.e. more officers, more resources, and stronger, unambiguous policies. If national law can be enacted to require all AirBnB type accommodation to be registered with the local authority, for example, then a levy paid to the local authority on every booking could provide the funds necessary for effective monitoring and enforcement control. Local Plans should also reflect this approach to visitor accommodation when they are next updated or replaced.


Do you have any interest in being part of the registration or monitoring process for short term holiday lets?

No – Parish Council’s are not resourced (staffing or funding) to carry out such a function which could detract from other key work undertaken by Parish Councils.

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