MORE than half of the planning applications validated in North Berwick this year have related to short-term holiday lets (STLs).

A number of applications looking for a change of use into a short-term holiday let or to allow the continued use of such a facility have been considered by East Lothian Council since changes to national legislation were introduced last year.

Last month, the local authority’s planning department validated 20 applications for the area covered by North Berwick Community Council.

Twelve of those related to STLs, with one more relating to the creation of holiday cabins to let on the outskirts of the town.

The council also ruled on 12 applications relating to short-term holiday lets in the town.

Applications related to Melbourne Place, Westgate, Nungate Road, High Street, Inchgarry Court, Balfour Street, Market Place, Quality Street and land near Rhodes Holdings.

Nine of the applications were approved, with the remaining three turned down by planning officials.

A further short-term let application, on the town’s Westgate Court, was turned down earlier this month.

Concerns have previously been raised by North Berwick Environment and Heritage Trust (NBEHT) about the impact of short-term holiday lets on the town.

READ MOREA third of all North Berwick town centre homes are holiday lets, new study says

Last year, representatives of NBEHT met with East Lothian’s MSP Paul McLennan, who is also the Scottish Government’s Housing Minister.

In September, the group called for East Lothian Council to carry out new research into the number of Airbnb and short-term holiday lets across the county after claims it had “hugely overestimated” the economic benefits of the industry.

At that time, Alison Clark, from the trust, said: “In some streets we are seeing 50 per cent or more dwellings which are used for this type of let and now it is moving into the new housing estates.

“The trust would like to see all new housing that comes forward used as principal residences; this has been done in the Lake District and Cornwall for a number of years and could be secured in the planning process.”

NBEHT conducted a study in 2022 and found that much of the housing stock in the town centre was holiday let accommodation.