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Local people and businesses should respond to a Scottish Government consultation on new regulations for short-term lets, says Highlands and Islands Scottish Conservative MSP Donald Cameron.

The consultation seeks views on the government's short-term lets draft Licensing Order and Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment (BRIA).

The government intends to lay the Licensing Order at the Scottish Parliament in September 2021.

Mr Cameron said: “I know from the correspondence that I have received from constituents that this is an important issue for many businesses and communities across the Highlands and Islands.

“During the last session of Parliament, when there were plans to introduce a licencing scheme, the Scottish Conservatives took the view that the extra costs and bureaucracy were the last thing that businesses needed as they struggled with the impact of the pandemic.

“However, once again, the issue is being revived, and it’s very important that the people who would be most affected take the opportunity to provide feedback. Please note that the consultation period closes on Friday 13 August.”

The original proposals were intended to curb the soaring growth in air b'n'bs with major accommodation providers fearful of unfair and unregulated competition and some areas of cities becoming no-go areas for ordinary letting as the rates per room soared by on-line marketing of short stays. But the impact of regulating almost every single accommodation provider provoked a backlash from smaller providers, with the major companies remaining largely silent as the dispute continued.  

The consultation can be accessed at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/short-term-lets-consultation-draft-licensing-order-business-regulatory-impact-assessment-bria/