Holiday homes and affordable housing with NP's

Within National Parks, there should be firm restrictions on the building of holiday (second) homes and those houses which are already used as holiday homes should have to go through retrospective planning permission if they are to be let out as holiday homes on AirBnB or similar. Before planning permission is granted for holiday home use, it should have to first prove that the local housing market is not starved of housing for local people. Planning permission allowing a property to be let out as a holiday home should only ever be temporary, such as on a five year basis. New developments should have to ensure that a significant proportion (34-60%) of homes are not allowed to be rented out on a short term holiday let basis, such as through AirBnB. Instead, National Parks should promote more sustainable tourist accomodation, such as smaller wooden camping/glamping pods, log cabins and managed campsites.

Why the contribution is important

Towns within National Parks, such as Aviemore or Grantown, are seeing increasing development pressure as a result of the holiday (second) home market. This pushes up the price of property for local people and leaves very few homes available to rent or buy, within (or even outwith) the budget of those employed in the local area. The other impact of this is that new rural development sites are often created on marginal land which is often the best land for wildlife as it is usually under-managed by the previous farmer or landowner. This was the case with a recent housing development site in Aviemore which was used by rare birds such as Capercaillie and rare insects such as the Small Scabious Mining Bee.

by DT2978 on May 31, 2022 at 10:21AM

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Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 5 votes


  • Posted by camusfearna June 01, 2022 at 22:13

    Would these legitimate concerns argue against areas already experiencing high levels of tourism being designated as national parks as this could risk increasing the pressure for second and holiday homes in the area?
  • Posted by lizashburn June 05, 2022 at 12:25

    Terms of designation and planning policies for any new NP must contain measures to control pressures on affordable housing supply. Policies must also enable building of housing for local people in suitable locations.
  • Posted by borbal June 05, 2022 at 18:12

    I cannot really see the point of such restrictions. The argument against people buying second homes in a National Park is that it drives up the cost of housing, out of reach of local. But remember, it is the locals who are selling the houses. They are the ones choosing whether to sell their house cheaply to a neighbour or at the going price to someone from outside the area. The other think is that people who have second homes also usually are well off and usually will spend a lot of cash, to local builders, joiners, gardeners and other local businesses when doing the place up. Anyway, the main driver of price in a National Park is people moving there with their family to take advantage of a great living and working environment.
  • Posted by croftercowrie June 05, 2022 at 23:10

    I think second/holiday houses should be discouraged strongly throughout Scotland -- a house is a home, not a financially rewarding proposition. The problem is the lack of alternatives for those with money to spare -- perhaps a green investment bank, which can offer gilts for renewable energy projects in Scotland, might be an attractive alternative. We're used to living modestly on the croft, and I leave it rarely, but when I do I'm always shocked by the wealth sloshing about -- small wonder people invest in houses, a practise which should be regarded as socially unacceptable. I'm not convinced an NP would turn the tide -- it might exacerbate the problem. Oh, and borbal, it's not the local builders, electricians and plumbers who are likely to do the work around here: they've mostly retired or left the area ('cos their partners can't get decent jobs, or they can't afford a house) -- the wealthy people who buy second houses here tend to be able to afford builders et al. who commute from Inverness, nearly 90 miles away, thus forcing more local tradespeople to quit the area.
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