RECENTLY-COMPLETED apartments in York are being used as luxury holiday flats, contrary to their planning approval, according to council planners.

City of York Council has refused a certificate of lawfulness for the eight flats in Crescent Court, which are being used as holidays lets while they are on the market to be sold.

The range of studio, one and two-bed flats off Blossom Street were built on the site of a former dental laboratory. One of the original nine flats has already been sold, so was not part of the application.

Stephensons has been marketing one-bed flats at £210,000 and two-bed flats at £325,000.


A report by council planning staff says the applicant is ‘committed’ to selling the flats, “with  short-term lettings being operated on a temporary basis to mitigate the cost of development. “

The report said how much a material change of use from the residential planning approval had taken place was a question of ‘fact and degree.’

Planners noted the development was offered for short-term holiday use on a range of websites such as Air B&B and has the flats available from £172 a night for a one-bed, giving them a 9.0 or ‘superb’ rating.

Air B&B gives them 4.8 stars, branding them a 'guest favourite' adding the flats are "one of the most loved homes on Air B&B." 

The planners said having examined how the property operates as a short-term let, this would give the scheme ‘a transient character,’ which would be different to that of a normal dwelling. This was also a commercial use, different to a dwelling house, so planning permission for this use was need.

The applicant, planning consultants nineteen47, was given 8 weeks to lodge an appeal on behalf of their client, a ‘private individual.’

However, City of York Council also warned: “Any use which is materially different from that described or which relates to other land may render the owner or occupier liable to enforcement action.” 

Jamie Pyper, director of nineteen47 told the Press: “The matter of what planning Use Class short term holiday lets falls within has in recent months moved up the political agenda, with the Government earlier this year consulting upon the creation of a new use class being formed specifically for this activity - Use Class C5. 

“Until such legislative changes come into effect, it is our view that in many instances short term holiday lets can operate within Use Class C3 which is the same use class that normal residential properties fall within. 

“This is evidenced by the fact that there are 100’s of short-term holiday lets throughout the City which are operating within existing houses and apartments without the need for planning permission and the fact that the Government have consulted on creating a new use class for this activity but to date have not formally enacted this change.”