Housing & Public Realm Report

Housing & Public Realm Report - May 20

Patrick Rotheram attended the Airbnb roadshow on 6th April 2020 in Bristol. Generally there appeared to be support for compulsory registration, but a mixed opinion for bringing Short Term Lets (STLs) under planning control through a new use category. The results of this meeting and others around the UK will allow the Airbnb corporation to produce a "white paper" about registration of Airbnb for consideration by Government.

Covid-19 has had the effect of a drastic reduction in demand for Airbnb and STLs generally, which has resulted in a 78% increase in the number of dwellings available in Bath for long term rent. Nick Tobin held a virtual meeting with Cllr Tim Ball, Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, where this was discussed.

Several Planning Applications for Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) have been refused by BANES. However there are still several more sites in the pipeline: Dick Lovett Building, Lower Bristol Road; Regency Cleaners, Lower Bristol Road; and Scala/Co-op Building, Oldfield Park. With University intake uncertain, especially the numbers of foreign students in the short term, there could be an over-supply of PBSAs in the next 5 years.

In his NORA Committee capacity, Robin Kerr held a long phone conversation with Karen Buck MP, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Short Term Lettings last month. She is convinced that some type of regulation of this sector will happen, as in most other developed countries, and that it will be compulsory. She has asked if Robin will be available to give evidence to her Group.

Graham Feltham, 10th May 20

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