07 Jul Ross-shire Journal
Image: MSP Kate Forbes
Highland MSP Kate Forbes calls on people to respond to Scottish Government consultation on rented holiday homes.
Highlanders have been called on to take part in a consultation on rented holiday homes in the region amid concerns locals are being priced out of the market by AirBnB style lets.
Finance Secretary and Highland MSP Kate Forbes says it is essentially that locals are heard and that any debate on the issue is based soundly on the facts rather than “unfounded fears.”
The Scottish Government’s latest consultation on short-term lets is aimed at ensuring that local authorities have the powers they need to balance the needs and concerns of their communities with wider economic and tourism interests.
A recent story in the media provoked an angry reaction when it was revealed that a woman in the West Highland village of Ullapool was finding it difficult to recruit staff to clean and maintain 30 holiday properties nearby.
The West Highlands has been particularly hard hit by the boom in tourism-related holiday lets which typically make far more money than those wishing to rent a property long-term while also reducing the housing stock.
Many councillors and politicians and others believe those issues taken together contribute to the depopulation that is destroying many Highland communities.