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Planning (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (Day 2)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th June 2019.

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Photo of Andy Wightman Andy Wightman Green

I thank Rachael Hamilton for that intervention. I have examined the lobbying register and I am happy to share with her the nine occasions on which she met the industry. She has not met Airbnb nine times; she has met the wider industry nine times.

I worked hard with the industry. We were even at the point where we had agreed drafting changes, and then, four weeks ago, amendment 157 landed in front of us.

Airbnb, HomeAway and all the other companies have lobbied hard against the regulation of this out-of-control industry all across the world, and they have got what they want: an anodyne amendment that is worse than the status quo and which requires further regulations by ministers, which will no doubt be the target of further industry lobbying with the aim of watering them down.

From conversations that I have had with planning officials, constituents in Lothian and people throughout Scotland—including in Portree—I know that the reform that is proposed by amendment 156 would be welcome. Unfortunately, it has been sabotaged by an amendment in the name of Borders-based Tory MSP Rachael Hamilton, with the connivance of the SNP Government. Her amendment is designed to restrict my modest reform to short-term let control areas, which, as I say, would result in a situation that is worse than the status quo.