A massive change to Airbnb rules is likely to be agreed next…

A council will next week consider a move seen as a trigger for wider national policy changes regarding Airbnbs and other short-term apartments.

A report to be considered by Gwynedd Government on July 16 recommends confirming the implementation of the Article 4 Direction to control the use of houses as second homes and holiday homes.

If agreed, this would allow councils, as the local planning authority, to require property owners to obtain planning permission before changing the use of a main residence to a second home or short-term holiday accommodation. The change would take effect quickly, from September 1.

The Council held a consultation on the introduction of the Article 4 Directive in August and September 2023.

A council spokesperson said: “Gwynedd wants to ensure that local people can access suitable and affordable housing locally – it’s key to securing the future of our communities. Unfortunately, research shows that a significant proportion of people in Gwynedd are priced out of the housing market and that is more evident in communities with more holiday homes.

“It is therefore inevitable that the significant number of houses used as holiday homes and short-term accommodation affects the ability of Gwynedd residents to access homes in their communities.

“By introducing an Article 4 directive, the council would have a new tool to try to control the impact of holiday homes and holiday homes. The change would require owners to submit a planning application to change the use of residential properties to holiday homes or shorter dwellings. – term holiday homes.

“Should the council decide to go ahead, Gwynedd would become the first planning authority to use these new planning powers introduced by the (Welsh) Government. Detailed work has been carried out over the past year to make the case for the change made and we are very grateful to everyone who participated during the public engagement period.”

The Welsh Government has introduced radical changes to the planning framework, giving local authorities the power to manage the future number of holiday homes and short-term rentals.

Changes to the national planning framework have meant that three new use classes have been introduced – main residence, holiday home and short-term accommodation.

Each local planning authority has the power to decide whether planning permission is required to change from one class of use to another by removing permitted planning permission. The introduction of an Article 4 directive allows these rights to be removed. If confirmed, Gwynedd Council will be responsible for implementing it.

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