BCP Council (Bournemouth area): Matt Annen, a director of the firm, is excited to share the news that he recently secured permission for a change of use of a former single garage to a mixed-use consisting of home office (as existing) and serviced holiday accommodation (Airbnb) studio chalet use in Southbourne Bournemouth.

Due to the lack of regulation, the vast majority of Airbnb’s do not have the benefit of planning permission. In some instances this is because planning permission is not actually required. If a whole house is let for example for short periods and owners return in the intervening period, thus keeping the primary use as a residential dwelling then it is unlikely that planning permission will be required. However, if the property is only being used as a holiday rental then a change of use is likely to be required. You should always check with your local council.

In this particular instance the owners came to us having received a letter from the Council following a couple of compliants from neighbours and the owners were asked to regularise the Airbnb use.

Pure Town Planning prepared and submitted a robust submisison with comprehensive supporting planning statement. When considering the application, the appointed planning officer deeemed that “Given the location of the site in close proximity to the overcliff and beaches, it would not be unusual to expect tourist accommodation in this coastal area. However, the unit itself is within an area of predominantly residential properties therefore care has to be taken to ensure the proposal does not harm the areas’ character and appearance…. Policy CS28 relates to the provision of tourist accommodation providing it does not harm the local area. It is considered that conditions which regulate the tourism function of this unit will be added to any planning approval. These would impose restrictions on operating throughout the year as well as on duration of occupancy by guests. It is judged that these restrictions, which also prevent the unit becoming independent accommodation, would result in a use which would not result in significant harm to the character or appearance of the area. Further to this, there are no external additions or alterations so no changes to the physical appearance of the outbuilding in the street scene”.

Planning permission was subsequently GRANTED with the only restrictions being that the unit can only be used as serviced holiday accommodation from Easter Monday to 31st October in any year (main summer months), and can be used for a home office or for other ancillary residential uses for the Winter months – e.g. friends or family coming over to stay. So this is well in excess of the current 56 day temporary permission rule. It also can not occupied by the same person or persons for a duration of longer than 7 consecutive days (i.e. one week stays max) and not be occupied as a person’s sole, or main place of residence which is fair enough given the size of this unit.

If you are thinking of earning some extra money by carrying out short term Airbnb serviced holiday acocmodation lets either within your home or within an outbuilding at your property, or perhaps you are looking to regularise an existing Airbnb use then why not give Pure Town Planning a call on 01202 585524 or send an email to info@puretownplanning.co.uk for an initial confidential discussion on how we can assist you too!