THE MP for York Central has hit out at short-term holiday-let proposals revealed by the government.

Michael Gove, secretary of state for levelling up, housing and communities, has announced proposals to require planning permission for short-term lets.

The new law would require people letting out their property as a short-term holiday home to seek permission from the local authority under a new ‘use’ category.

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The rules, revealed on Monday (February 19), would not apply to people renting out their main home for 90 days or less in a year.

Whilst Ms Maskell said she welcomed the Government finally announcing its plans, she said the measures do not go nearly far enough and are way too late.

A spokesperson for the MP said: “Although heavily billed as measures that will ‘protect communities’ with new planning permission requirement, under the new rules permitted development rights will actually be extended to include holiday-lets.

“This means that in most areas investors will be automatically granted permission to flip homes to short-term lets without the need for a planning application.”

Figures provided by Ms Maskell said that currently, one in 10 properties in the centre of York are now holiday-lets.

Ms Maskell said: “The changes announced today, will not bring any of the hundreds of thousands of lost homes across the country back, instead the new rules will reinforce their holiday-let status by automatically granting them retrospective planning permission.

“The proposals will do little to address the housing crisis in places like York where over 2,000 properties are short-term holiday-lets, when we’ve got hundreds and hundreds of families on our housing waiting list and local workers increasingly finding themselves priced out of the city.

“In many areas, this means the horse has well and truly bolted, and today the Government confirmed it plans to do absolutely nothing to get it back.

“Perhaps most alarmingly of all, under the new scheme in most areas the new planning application process is unlikely to apply.

“Owners are actually being given the automatic right to flip homes to holidays let without seeking permission, unless local authorities have actually managed to introduce restrictions – which itself could be a long, costly and uncertain process.

“This is completely out of step with where people are on this issue.

“There is also now a huge risk that, in hotspots like York, there will now be a flurry of new holiday-lets, as investors scramble to snap up remaining properties before controls come into force.

"This will makes the new rules extremely difficult and expensive for local authorities to enforce, and is likely to set out to fail."

James Gilchrist, director of planning at City of York Council said: "We recognise the impact holiday-lets and platforms such as AirBNB can have on communities.

"Planning permission may be required to establish an AirBNB or holiday-let now.

"The current requirement for planning permission will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

"If there are concerns with regard to the use of a property as holiday accommodation and a possible change of use, then Planning Enforcement can look into this.

"We are aware of the Government announcement.

"However, without the specific changes in legislation, it is not possible for the Council to comment, as there is limited information in terms of how technically the changes will be implemented.

"There is a need to assess the changes in legislation when it comes forward, to then reflect on how it might affect the planning application process and the implications for York given its tourist economy and housing needs."