Pete Wishart MP and Councillor Mike Williamson hit back at planning application for holiday homes in Aberfeldy
Mr Pete Wishart, MP for Perth and North Perthshire, and Mr Mike Williamson, Perth and Kinross SNP councillor for Highland Ward, have hit out a new planning application which seeks to turn Aberfeldy Cottage Hospital into three self-catering holiday apartments. This comes despite the Conservative-led administration previously proposing for the council to purchase the property and turn into social housing.
Commenting, Mr Wishart said:
“News of a planning application to turn Aberfeldy Cottage Hospital into holiday homes has left many in the area rightly furious. This is particularly outrageous given that the Conservative-led council has in the past proposed to buy over this building for the purpose of turning it into much needed social housing.
“Highland Perthshire is saturated with holiday homes, while affordable housing is in desperately short supply. We know that this is unsustainable and is causing misery for locals. It is a disgrace that in the five years this council has had to tackle the problem, nothing has been done and in fact things have gotten worse.
“Tourism is the economic lifeblood of Highland Perthshire, but right now wealthy proprietors are benefiting from more than their fair share. What is needed is a tourism strategy that prioritises locals who’s views have for too long been cast aside. ”
Also commenting, Cllr Williamson said:
“The failure of the Conservative administration to follow up on the proposal to purchase the Aberfeldy Cottage Hospital and convert it into social housing will not go unnoticed and will not be forgotten.
“People are not blind to the lack of affordable housing as well as the rising number of homes that are being converted to self-catering apartments within Highland Perthshire.
“It does raise the question of whether developers are being allowed to sidestep their 25% social housing contribution by converting housing into self-catering apartments.
“In 5 years the Conservatives have failed to produce a tourism strategy or a destination management plan on how to address the social impacts of the tourism industry. Tourism is our biggest industry and it needs to be demonstrated that the economic impacts benefit everyone.”