20 Feb 2024
Cllr Karen Young

Cambridge Liberal Democrats have welcomed the Government’s announcement this week that it now plans to regulate short term lets and to give power to local councils which are best placed to deal with this issue for residents. They submitted a motion to Cambridge City Council calling for just this last October.

Secretary of State Michael Gove has just announced that local councils will be able to require full planning permission for short-terms lets such as Airbnb and that government will establish a mandatory national register, providing councils with information about them in their area. Only those renting out their main home for 90 days or less would be exempted.

Lib Dem city councillor Karen Young (Queen Edith’s), who initiated the call for regulation, last October, said:

“The Government’s change of heart is long overdue, but welcome all the same. This new local power certainly ought to be exercised in a city like Cambridge where the growth of short term lets eats away at our housing stock, which we know is in short supply for people who really want to live here.  And dependent on suitability of buildings, location and neighbourhood concentration, short-term lets can also be a source of nuisance to surrounding residents. We agree that this sort of accommodation meets a genuine need, but it can get out of hand and needs does regulation.”

Lib Dem Planning Spokesperson, Cllr Katie Porrer said:

“We have been campaigning for this change for a long time locally as Cambridge is one of the places which has been particularly subject to the growth of short term lets like Airbnb. On top of already sky-high rents and property prices it definitely needs controlling better and the impacts on local areas properly considered before approval.  I look for prompt implementation of the government’s new rules and will be arguing for quick adoption of a local policy requiring full use of it wherever appropriate across the city.”