Planning bid to limit city's 'party flats'

APARTMENTS run like hotel rooms are to be banned from opening in blocks of flats.

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Glasgow's boom in new hotels has been fuelled by its importance as a business and tourism centre.

That has resulted in the emergence of short-stay serviced flats or hotel apartments in blocks of residential flats.

The apartments are run like a hotel, with residents staying only short periods of time.

Some of the flats are used as overspill accommodation for existing hotels and undergo regular cleaning.

But the city council has decided to ban any more from opening because of the problems they cause neighbours.

A spokesman said: "As fully furnished flats with all mod cons, they provide an authentic city living environment for guests.

"Short stay serviced apartments are also capable of providing cheaper, hotel standard accommodation for larger groups where the costs can be reduced by sharing.

"But while the council encourages the provision of such accommodation as a single use in appropriate locations, it is clear amenity problems arise where short-stay serviced apartments are intermingled within blocks of residential flats."

It is understood there are many hundreds of flats in the city being rented out in this way.

Problems arise because of increased use of lifts and shared areas and the fact the flats are regularly serviced.

Earlier this year the Evening Times highlighted concerns over flats that are for short-term let, making life a misery for the permanent residents in the same building.

The flats in question are let out for one night or a weekend and are often rented by stag and hen parties, but are in developments where there are people living, having to put up with noise and anti-social behaviour.

Four years ago, residents in Balvicar Street, on the South Side, complained they were being forced from their homes as neighbouring flats were rented for parties.

The council spokesman added: "The attractiveness of short-stay serviced apartments to large groups may result in noise, overcrowding and a lack of care for common areas.

"Given the transient nature of occupation, there is often little, if any, concern for how such problems may impact on the amenity of surrounding areas."

Existing serviced apartments will be allowed to continue operating but in future the council will only grant planning permission when entire blocks are converted to such use.

vivienne.nicoll@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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