EDINBURGH councillors have been warned they could face a legal challenge if they continue with plans to increase regulation of Airbnb renting in the capital.

The threat from business leaders follows the Scottish Government approving the introduction of a short-term let control area, in a bid to support the availability of residential housing in the city.

The scheme would introduce a requirement of planning permission for anyone looking to turn an entire dwelling that is not their primary residence into a short-term let.

The plans have found opposition from local business leaders who have described the legislation as “rushed”.

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Speaking on behalf of 1470 members, Fiona Campbell of the Association of Scotland’s Self Caterers, called for the legislation to be delayed. She has warned that the plan would negatively impact the tourist trade and the city’s self-catering accommodation sector.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Tourism Alliance wrote to Deputy First Minister John Swinney to put the policy on hold “to take some of the burden off businesses during this turbulent and uncertain time”.

However, SNP councillor Adam McVey has highlighted the support the proposals received among locals, saying that the council is taking a “robust approach”.

He added that the council will run a short consultation on the specifics of the new policy.

He said: “The SNP will continue to support these essential changes to protect our housing stock and make sure the council can control where short-term lets are given permission to operate.

“We hope, despite the Tories calling for yet another delay in the implementation of the policy, that their Labour administration partners will stay on the side of the people of Edinburgh and progress this as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Greens councillor Chas Booth, said it was "outrageous" for companies profiting from short-term lets to "delay tackling the problems they cause".

He added: "Holiday lets can cause misery for local residents if they are badly run - including through all-night parties, stag and hen dos. But even well-run holiday lets have an impact by reducing the number of homes available, which is contributing to spiralling rents.

"In the context of a massive cost-of-living crisis, where high rents in the capital are driving people into poverty, we need to speed up action to tackle the problems of holiday lets, not slow it down.”

Campbell has argued that the intention to apply planning considerations to a licencing scheme would be outwith the council’s competency and would be subject to a challenge.

She told The Times: “They are consulting on whether there will be a presumption not to grant a licence to any flatted dwelling.

“It is not part of licensing because it’s got nothing to do with the safety of the activity and is not a planning consideration. If they don’t pull that as a condition we will seek leave to challenge.”