Flat owners ordered to stop using their property as a holiday let lost their appeal after the lifestyles of their guests were ruled “incompatible” with neighbours.
East Lothian Council refused planning permission for the flat, in North Berwick, to be used as a holiday let after discovering it had been rented out to visitors for seven years without consent.
The owners of the property, who live in West Yorkshire, said they bought it to use as a holiday home for themselves and opted to let it when they were not using it rather than let it lie empty for months at a time.
However, a meeting of the council’s Local Review Body on Thursday refused their appeal against the planning decision.
Chair or the review body councillor Norman Hampshire said the presence of a holiday let in the housing complex, which is made up of 16 flats, was not compatible.
He said: “The lifestyles people are living when on holiday compared to someone in a residential setting is different.
“There will be disturbance to the residential properties in close proximity and I have concerns that the property will be operated without close control because the landlord is not in attendance and situations of conflict will arise between residents and people there on holiday.”
The retrospective application for a change of use to holiday let for the ground floor flat at West Bay Apartments, Station Hill received 13 representations with 11 objections.
Applicants Peter and Sue Whittle said their family bought the flat in 2014 after decades of visiting the seaside town on holidays of their own.
In an appeal statement, the couple said the flat was bought as a holiday base for their family and friends.
They added that it was decided to make it available as a holiday let when they were not using it because it would benefit the economy of the town, amid claims there was a shortage of holiday accommodation in the town.
The statement continued: “Our research suggested that there was a shortage of holiday accommodation in the town at the time of purchase, and we understand that this remains the case today (as evidenced by the information that our letting agent has been unable to accommodate any of our existing bookings elsewhere)”
However, councillor Neil Gilbert on the review body said he believed the use of the flat as a holiday let would have a “high impact” on the amenity of other residents in the complex.
The appeal was unanimously rejected and planning permission refused.
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