Grassmarket Short Term Let Application

Posted on: June 8, 2021

Our objection to a plan to convert yet another residential home into a short term let holiday property

Address: 1F2, 68B Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2JR

Proposal: Change of use from residential home to a short term let business / holiday accommodation

Ref No: 21/02351/FUL

Closing date for comments: 11 June 2021

Determination date: 12 July 2021

Result: Pending

Cockburn Response

The Cockburn has studied this application and would wish to lodge a formal objection to it.

We do so in the context that we have great sympathy for local businesses who have been hardest hit by the lockdown restrictions and believe it is essential for the local economy get back on its feet.

It is our view that in this residential shared stair context the proposed change of use is not in accordance with Policy Housing 7 ‘Inappropriate Uses in Residential Areas’ as it would have a materially detrimental effect on the living conditions of other residents of the main door accessed residential stair, and so should not be permitted.

In addition, the proposed change of use is not supportive of either Scottish Government Housing policy on More homes – “everyone has a quality home that they can afford and that meets their needs” or Scottish Planning Policy on “socially sustainable places” and “supporting delivery of accessible housing”.

The Old Town has been subjected to the most intensive pressures of overtourism for some time.  It is essential that the city rebalances this pressure.  Encouraging the shift from short-term holiday letting to more permanent housing is one way of achieving this.

We note that the applicant places significant importance to a recent appeal decision at Johnston Terrace where an application for change of use to STL was sustained.  We believe that the issues are very different in the Grassmarket which retains a substantial residential community.  Also, this appeal decision was very much an outlier and not consistent with the many, many cases where appeals have been dismissed due to their impact on neighbours and the wider community.