Councils should be handed powers to regulate and control short-term holiday lets.

That's the view of Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan who has given his backing to an announcement from the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The move follows concerns that the number of short term accommodation lets across Scotland, offered by platforms such as Airbnb, is restricting the volume of available residential properties available in tourist destinations.

Alasdair Allan is encouraging island residents to have their say on the Scottish Government’s plans as part of an online consultation that runs until 19th July 2019.

The proposal is part of a package of new housing initiatives announced at the SNP’s spring conference in Edinburgh last weekend – including a new £150 million scheme to help young people get on the property market with loans of up to £25,000 available to assist with a deposit for a new home.

The consultation can be found here: https://consult.gov.scot/housing-services-policy-unit/short-term-lets/consultation/subpage.2016-07-07.1474135251

 Alasdair Allan said:“While short term letting sites, such as Airbnb, have helped contribute to Scotland’s booming tourism industry, there are concerns that they may make it more difficult for people in some tourism hotspots across the Western Isles to find permanent homes to live in.

“The SNP Government is looking to proactively tackle this issue by handing councils the power to control the number of lets and ensure they make a contribution to the local services they use.

“I’ve heard from many constituents who are concerned about this issue and I know it will affect different communities in different ways.

"I would encourage everyone to ensure their views are heard before the consultation closes on 19th July 2019.”