'Quiet' UK cul-de-sac at risk of turning into 'ghost town' after Air BnB takeover

'Quiet' UK cul-de-sac at risk of turning into 'ghost town' after Air BnB takeover

WATCH: GB News discusses whether second homes should be banned

GB News
Georgina Cutler

By Georgina Cutler

Published: 20/02/2024

- 15:08

Updated: 22/02/2024

- 15:32

Locals say the surge of second homes has reduced affordable housing within their community

Residents in a rural community say they are concerned their "quiet" cul-de-sac could become a "ghost town" as neighbours are left "sick and tired" of Airbnbs.

Dan, who lives in Preston, told GB News that an "unwanted" Airbnb in their community has caused neighbours to become "paranoid".

Locals in Lancashire say the surge of second homes has reduced affordable housing in the area as one MP warns that "communities from Cumbria to Cornwall will turn into ghost towns".

Discussing the ongoing issues, Dan believes the Airbnb owners changed their advertising or listing last summer as guests went from "families holidaying from abroad, or family and friends in the area" to "lots of trades, white vans, and generic workers in and out the house all the time."

Residents in a rural community say they are 'sick and tired' of Airbnbs taking over their area as 'droves of strangers' cause parking nightmares and noise pollution (stock image)

Wiki Commons images/ Steve Daniels

He said: "There was, unfortunately, one couple who had a falling out, an ambulance had been called to the house a number of times.

"Later on, we found out that he'd been arrested on suspicion of drunk driving because he had hit a van of one of the other neighbours."

The resident also explained that the community has faced parking issues with vans lining the street.

He added: "I think there were six vans altogether at one point, they were blocking people's drives.

"We actually got letters through the letter box from the local council to say that they're seeking planning permission and they were going to absolutely just massively extend the house. It is a nice three bedroom semi detached with a back garden garage.

"It's ideal for a young family, so why the hell would you turn a residential property like that into an Airbnb? Everybody who lives around us doesn't want it, especially when you've got droves of strangers coming in all the time.

"Everybody is sick and tired of vans parking outside houses."


He added: "It's very unwanted. You've got cars and vans all over the place and you just think, who are these people? Everybody now has ring doorbells because everybody is paranoid, especially, like I said when we had the police and ambulance issue last year - it's not good, it's not right."

The latest data recorded in February 2020 found Airbnb had become so prevalent in the UK that some parts of the country had one listing for every four properties, according to analysis by The Guardian.

MP for Westmorland, Furness and Eden, Tim Farron slammed the "explosion" of Airbnbs taking over the British countryside.

He told GB News: “The explosion of homes being turned into airbnbs, holiday lets and second homes threatens turning so many communities from Cumbria to Cornwall into ghost towns.

“So many local businesses – especially those in our hospitality and tourism sectors – are struggling to recruit the staff they need to continue because there is simply nowhere for their workers to live.

“The Government must do two things to help tackle this crisis. They must ban section 21 no fault evictions which are leading to landlords turfing out their tenants so they make a quick buck by putting their property on Airbnb.

One resident explained that the community has faced parking issues with vans lining the street

“They must also change planning law so that local authorities can limit the number of family homes being turned into holiday lets and second homes.”

Analysis in 2020 found that London and Edinburgh had the highest absolute numbers of Airbnb listings, but some rural areas also had a high rate of listings relative to the number of residential properties in the area.

Simon Smith who lives in Brighton and Hove says his coastal area is also facing similar problems.

He explained that he has endured sleepless nights after guests were heard singing and screaming.

The resident reported the chaos to police and Brighton and Hove City Council.

He told GB News: "It's a humungous problem for Brighton and Hove, Airbnb has decimated local communities. There is no decent property for anyone to rent.

"Half decent property goes to Airbnb, leaving un lettable property for private rent. Very lucrative if you have an Airbnb funding your lifestyle and increasing your property investment portfolio.

"Insatiable property greed is out of control un-policed, parasites living off property with no respect for neighbours. Since when did property in residential streets with no businesses whatsoever start hotels masquerading as Airbnb."

An Airbnb spokesperson said: "We investigated the information shared with us and the reported issues are not related to stays on Airbnb. The properties are also available on other platforms.

"We take housing concerns seriously and have long led calls for the introduction of a national short-term lets register which the Government announced this week.

"The register will give local authorities the information they need to keep communities healthy and assess and manage housing impacts, where necessary."

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