FOUR men have been charged with firearms offences following a police raid at a flat operating as an unauthorised short-term let in Glasgow’s East End.

Officers acting under warrant searched the property on March 8 and made the discovery.

The property has been banned from being rented out as a short term let by the council after the local MSP raised the matter.

Neighbours had previously complained that the flat was operating as an short-term let without having been granted permission.

Short-term lets advertised through websites like Airbnb and Home Togo are popular in Glasgow and other cities.

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Several constituents contacted their local politician, John Mason SNP MSP for Glasgow Shettleston to complain.

The issue was raised with Glasgow City Council who eventually ruled that the flat could not be used as short stay accommodation and ordered any ‘unauthorised’ use to be discontinued immediately. The issue came to a head when the armed raid took place.

Speaking after council bosses rejected the short stay accommodation plans, Mr Mason said: “I am delighted by Glasgow City Council’s quick action to resolve this matter.

“My office deals with a multitude of issues involving various authorities and organisations and we rarely receive such prompt and conclusive responses.

“Short-term lets can be positive additions to communities, and I have used them before when out of the country.

“However, planning permission legislation is in place to ensure that residents are protected from the uncertainties that could arise from swathes of residential areas becoming dominated by short-term lets, and it is good to see that Glasgow City Council is taking short-term let planning breaches seriously.”

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Council regulations, introduced in March 2017, mean it is now forbidden to rent out an entire flat for short-term lets including Airbnb in a close with a communal entrance. An individual room can be rented out if the owner remains living in the property.

Change of use planning permission is required in other cases but may be refused in areas where there is a high density of rented flats, including Crosshill, Dennistoun, the West End of Glasgow and Strathbungo.

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “A property was searched under warrant.

“Four men were arrested and charged with firearms offences and were expected to appear before Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday, March 11.”

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