In February this year, Cornerstone Property Development made an unusual application (unusual to our eyes) to use an existing residential property at 8 Baxter’s Place as short-stay commercial visitor letting ‘by people living together as a family’ (Ref. 19/00932/CLP).
Cornerstone’s agent later clarified that the application had been submitted on the basis of a seven-night minimum stay, equating to a maximum of 52 changeovers per year.
Sceptics wondered how, in circumstances like this, anyone could prove or disprove family membership in a timely manner. Those who remembered Cornerstone’s previous use of the property as short-term lets, and the associated disruption to neighbours by partying visitors, feared the worst. They hoped for a Council decision consistent (for different reasons) with the refusal of planning consent reported HERE.
On 20 May, relieved residents in Baxter’s Place learned that delegated officials have indeed refused Cornerstone’s application:
The City of Edinburgh Council hereby certify that on 25.02.2019 the development described in the First Schedule hereto in respect of the land specified in the Second Schedule hereto and on plan(s) 01A-02 would not have been lawful within the meaning of Section 151 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 (as amended) for the following reason:
The proposed use of the premises is not lawful and constitutes development, as defined by section 26 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, thereby requiring planning permission.
This is not the end of the Baxter’s Place saga. Cornerstone is currently contesting the earlier refusal of consent at the Court of Session, and is already appealing this latest setback with the Scottish Government.
However, refusal on this occasion appears to have blocked (at least temporarily) a route through the Planning regulations that might otherwise have had significant implications for future short-term lets across the city.