Why people are asking for Airbnb restrictions in Newcastle city center

Calls have been made for further restrictions on Airbnb in Newcastle, amid fears that rented accommodation will hamper efforts to get more people to live in the city center.

Concerns have been expressed that re-commissioning some of the vacant downtown office space as housing may not have the desired effect – as owners could instead turn them into hotels and expose neighbors to the resulting additional noise.

The Newcastle City Council Planning Committee learned on Friday that the authority had dealt with a number of complaints about residential properties used as Airbnb accommodation without proper authorization.

The roommate website has a 90-day limit on the number of days a property can be used as Airbnb in London, but there are no such restrictions outside of the capital.

There are now calls for a similar policy to be put in place for Newcastle and other cities, which would prevent homes from being constantly rented out to tourists – including stag and hen parties.

Bridges over the River Tyne

Councilor Marion Williams was the first to raise concerns at the meeting, casting doubt on whether converting empty Grainger Town offices into 40 apartments would be as beneficial as council is hoping.

She said: “I agree that bringing housing to the city center is so necessary and it is a good decision. But in this argument about the advantages of having residential housing , in my experience in other cities, it is much more likely to become Airbnb. “

Kath Lawless, the council’s deputy planning director, said the Hood Street development that was approved on Friday could not be used as Airbnb housing, but echoed concerns about the wider impact on the city center .

She said: “The Airbnb issue is a national issue and maybe an international issue.

“This is a topic on which there has been a lot of discussion nationwide as to whether there needs to be a change in planning regulations.”

She added: “There is a need to look at this issue nationally and see what can be done. We have had a number of enforcement cases in the city related to it.

“I don’t think we have as big a problem as other cities, but it’s something we’re looking at.

“But we are limited by national law on this.”

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The council said it had received fewer than 10 complaints about noise from misused homes like Airbnb, most of which were resolved after discussions with owners.

Councilor John-Paul Stephenson later said: “I am aware that London has a time limit on the number of days a property can be rented out per year through Airbnb. The government needs to empower councils so that similar restrictions may be introduced in Newcastle in order to protect neighbors from noise and additional disturbance which may be caused by residential properties rented in this manner. “

An Airbnb spokesperson said: “While we have not received any details of complaints from the board, we have a zero tolerance approach to anti-social behavior and are permanently removing bad actors from our platform.

“The overwhelming majority of hosts and guests on Airbnb are good neighbors and respectful travelers, and collectively boosted the North East’s economy by £ 31million last year alone.”

The company says a typical Airbnb host in the North East earns £ 2,900 from hosting less than three nights a month, these aren’t typically businesses or professionals, and the vast majority of hosts share space in their own. House.

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