Councillors rejected two bids to turn flats in a street in Musselburgh into short term holiday lets (STLs) because they shared stairwells with other residents.
East Lothian Council’s local review body heard appeals from two operators of flats in the town’s New Street at a meeting last week.
The flats at numbers 133 and 139 on the street had both been refused a change of use to STLs by planning officers.
And they took their cases to the review body challenging claims the holiday use of the flats caused any more disturbance than normal residency.
KLE Property Ltd who represented the flat at number 139 claimed objections to the use of the property as an STL were part of a ‘polarised agenda’ by some who oppose short term lets across Scotland urging councillors to treat them with ‘extreme caution’.
However review body chairman Councillor Jeremy Findlay asked whether objectors on both applications had been local and was told some lived in the same block as the holiday rentals while others were from local residents.
Councillor Andy Forrest, local ward member, told the meeting he wished developers would provide housing aimed at the holiday market.
He said: “It is just a pity the builders who are keen to build all the big houses within our county couldn’t just put some money together and think ‘we’ll just build you two or three blocks you can use for short term lets’.
“That would solve all our problems, but unfortunately they are not going to do that so it is something we are always going to have to discuss.”
Councillor Forrest rejected the appeals on both flats in the town on the matter of amenity for residents already living there.
And commenting on the appeal over the flat at number 133, he questioned how complaints about a tenant’s behaviour was ever recorded given the shortness of their stays.
He said: “The problem you have is that we know how busy the police are, by the time people come round they (the tenants) have moved away. It would be the same if you reported it to the management company.
“If it happens today and they are away tomorrow would anything be done or recorded? I don’t know.”
Councillor Liz Allan, body member, pointed out housing officers had said the economic benefit of short term lets did not currently outweigh the loss of residential accommodation in East Lothian.
The review body dismissed both appeals unanimously.
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country