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Ex-Housing Minister slams "outrageous" AirBnb application

Ex-Housing Minister slams

Wednesday 05 April 2023

Ex-Housing Minister slams "outrageous" AirBnb application

Wednesday 05 April 2023

A former Housing Minister is among those objecting to an application for a three-bedroom flat to continue being used as tourist accommodation for six months of the year, arguing that there is already a "huge shortage" of family homes on the island.

Terry Le Main described the retrospective request as "outrageous" in a public comment, explaining that the apartment — which is located in the Metropol Apartments in Roseville Street — is a "beautiful home eminently suitable for a Jersey family".

The three-bedroom and two-bathroom apartment has an open plan kitchen and living area, external storage area, secure underground parking, a balcony, and a private patio garden.

The planning application is retrospective as the apartment was first let as tourist accommodation in July 2021, as the owner "was not aware until very recently that permission was required to let [their] property as tourist accommodation".


Pictured: The apartment is located in the Metropol Apartments in Roseville Street.

The applicant's correspondence explains that the application "would not result in any intensification of use", and "does not seek any alterations to the dwelling itself, it is only the use that is proposed to be changed".

It adds: "During the period where the property is not let for tourist accommodation, I will take tenancies for local residents as done previously."

The application comes after current Housing Minister David Warr recently announced a clampdown on islanders renting their homes out as tourist accommodation without the required planning permission.


Pictured: Last month, nearly 100 local properties were due to be investigated in a crackdown on islanders using their homes as short-term holiday lets without permission.

Under the Planning and Building Law, the use of a property for short-term holiday letting is defined as ‘development’, and requires planning permission. 

Deputy Warr said officers would now be "cracking down" on those doing so illegally, to help conserve the island's built housing stock and avoid "building on greenfields". The law does not apply to single rooms holiday lets or situations where someone may be letting their entire home as a 'one-off' while on holiday.

Last month, the government confirmed that nearly 100 homes were being investigated as part of the crackdown.

The Metropol Apartment owner said in the application that while the change of use "does take accommodation away from residents for part of the year", they believe that "there is significant value added from providing short term holiday lets" with tourists spending time frequenting local businesses.

The applicant adds that "there is a new market for tourists that want to stay in homes instead of just having to use hotels" and therefore suggests that "Jersey should have a "stock" of available properties so that it does not miss out on this demand".


Pictured: Housing Minister David Warr recently announced a clampdown on islanders renting their homes out as tourist accommodation without the required planning permission.

There are eight public comments on the application, all of which oppose the change-of-use for a number of reasons including lack of housing for Jersey residents, concerns about building security with different tourists entering and leaving, devaluing of other apartments in the complex, and worries that it will set a precedent for future applications.

The full application and public comments can be viewed online. It is due to be decided on this month.

Since the time of writing, the owner has contacted Express to confirm that this planning application was withdrawn last week.

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Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

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Posted by Austin Marsh on
I think it’s a great idea they keep pulling down hotels left right and centre yet they moan that no tourist are coming over Airbnb is the way forward for tourist’s to stay
Posted by IanSmith97 on
Quite right Terry, Air BnB is a disaster for those that live near them. We are crying out for homes, this is a home, it should be used as such. As for the owner saying he didn’t know or realise, anybody with a modicum of sense would know that there have been stringent laws about letting property for over 60 years now. Disingenuous from the owner.
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