Sunday, 6 August 2017

To B or not to Air B & B… that is the question!

The popularity of short-term holiday letting (STHL), through on-line platforms such as Air B& B, has seen a rapid growth in this form of accommodation nationally, regionally and within our own local area.

Whilst this form of accommodation supports tourism it is important that this not be done to the detriment of people, families and communities that reside in residential neighbourhoods.

In recognising that there needs to be a balance, the State Government released an options paper on 20th July 2017 that details a proposed regulatory and planning framework to deal with Short Term Holiday Letting in NSW.

The report is comprehensive and provides details of the experiences of how cities overseas have dealt, through regulatory and planning framework, with this rapidly growing form of accommodation that at this point, is largely unregulated in this State.

In the context of Lake Macquarie, short-term holiday letting is a permissible use in a residential zone where the permanent residents live on site. This is essentially the traditional bed and breakfast model that has successfully operated around the lake for years.

Problems have occurred in some areas, with the more recent operations, where owners DO NOT reside on site. These problems generally stem from the owners not being on site and therefore rules on noise, parties etc aren’t enforced. In these situations, the adjoining owners bear the consequences of poor behaviour when guests aren’t respectful of the fact they are staying in a residential environment. These types of operations, where owners DO NOT live on site are currently prohibited in Lake Macquarie in a residential zone. Effected neighbours, in these circumstances, have described the experience as like living next door to an unregulated hotel in a quasi tourism zone, not a residential neighbourhood.

The options report is available for community comment until 31st October 2017. A copy of the report can be downloaded on the following link and submissions made on the webpage.

It is very important that the community engages in this process, if the policy settings aren’t carefully considered and understood, the impact on the amenity of people in the community could be dramatic. Some planners believe this is one of the most significant issues to impact on the liveability of communities we will experience in a long time.

If you have any questions or have had any issues relating to STHL, Greg Piper’s office would like to hear from you, contact details are:

Phone 4959-3200

Email address:

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