SNP council manifestos will commit to tackling the “proliferation” of holiday homes and short-term lets across Scotland, members agreed.

A resolution detailing a set of commitments to be included in all SNP election manifestos for next year’s local authority elections in regards to accessible housing passed substantially with 442 votes for yes, to 19 for no.

Included in the commitments were to enhance the affordability within the private rental and housing market for local people, young families and first-time buyers.

Increasing the number of buy back properties by councils for social rent, using local and national tax systems to ensure affordable housing in rural communities and discourage holiday home ownership, and using planning law to minimise the possibility of properties being used as homes.

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Other commitments include exploring and supporting “community land and asset transfer and community led homes”, introducing or increasing non-repayable grants to encourage people to retrofit insulation and climate friendly heating systems, and working with COSLA and the Scottish Government to implement this.

It comes just weeks after Edinburgh City Council launched a consultation on plans to introduce short-term let controls in the capital.

The regulations would mostly affect those who let their homes or rooms out through Airbnb or similar schemes.

And, as speaker Alasdair Wylie, from the SNP Strathtay and Dunkeld branch, pointed out, “this isn’t a new problem”.

Supporting the motion, Wylie said that there need to be measures to address the “proliferation of short-term lets affecting affordable housing in rural and semi-rural areas”.

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He said: “Just last week the Highland council leader said there had been a massive increase in short-term lets in Strathspey and the situation was severely affecting the local housing market, arguing with fellow councillors that the changing of dwellings to short-term lets should require planning permission.”

Wylie added that in Perth and Kinross, the Tory-led council had been “totally silent” on the subject.

He said: “Not a sign they tend to use the powers they have now been given to do anything about this.

“A head in the sand approach of this sort, by our own council, in the face of growing problems in towns such as Dunkeld and elsewhere in the council area, is a disgraceful dereliction of duty.”

He added that all SNP council manifestos for the 2022 elections should include “commitments in the areas of enhancing affordability in the private and rented housing market to local people, young families and first time buyers”.

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Wylie added that this “major declaration of intent” would make a huge difference to communities.

David Ashford, who seconded the motion, said: “There needs to be a realisation that no area in Scotland should be abused by an excess of holiday homes or short term let installations. With the consent of the indigenous communities affected each manageable area should be defined on a widely distributed map.

“As for the task of deciding the maximum number of holiday homes or short term lets in each area, a debate will be needed over a defined period of say six months, with reviews every three years.”

Ashford added that the crucial issue is to find “practical humane means” to prevent the “deprivation of the ability for young people to find a home”.

Graham McCormick, of the Helensburgh branch, spoke against the motion and said the over-emphasis on short-term lets and holiday homes was “wrong”.

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The rise in the number of short-term lets has caused concern in some areas

McCormick said instead that the focus should be on building more homes in the areas that need them.

He told delegates: “Instead of penilising people for having holiday homes, build the houses in the areas required.

“If we focus on it we could solve the housing and unmet needs within 18 months and create sustainable jobs and industries in local areas, constantly addressing the housing supply.”

We previously told how the Scottish Government also launched a consultation on a new licensing system for short-term let properties in June.

It aims to bring in legislation to tackle the growth of Airbnb-style rentals in tourist hotspots and will go before the Scottish Parliament later this year.