Scottish ministers have withdrawn legislation for a short-term holiday lets licensing scheme so that draft guidance can be developed.  

A stakeholder working group has been established to help develop the guidance and it met yesterday for the first time. 

Ministers hope to provide reassurance on the operation of the scheme to operators and hosts in the sector, who had voiced concerns that the scheme could force businesses – who are already struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic – to close.

If the SNP wins May's Holyrood election, the Scottish Government intends to bring the legislation before Parliament in June, accompanied by the draft guidance, to ensure that the timetable on introducing licensing remains the same.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: "Our proposals to licence short-term lets were developed in response to concerns raised by residents in communities across Scotland and members in all parties. 

"However, I know concerns have been raised, so have therefore decided to withdraw this legislation so that it can be reconsidered in parallel with draft guidance which will help address those concerns. I want the licensing scheme to be as efficient and effective as possible in ensuring the safety of guests and residents, and to provide local authorities with the powers to balance community concerns with wider economic and tourism interests."