Despairing residents ‘living next to endless parties’ in ‘wild west’ York

DESPAIRING York residents are living next to endless parties as short-term holiday lets turn their communities into the ‘wild west,’ an MP has told a Government minister.

York Central MP Rachael Maskell warned Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove that York’s available housing stock was shrinking due to the number of such holiday lets flooding the city.

She said residents were finding that their quiet streets were being subjected to noisy and drunken groups using profane language in front of children and families at all hours of the day and night.

During a string of visits to residential areas of York over Easter, she says she met with despairing residents who no longer felt safe in their neighbourhoods and were living next to endless parties, depriving them of sleep.

She claimed a full licensing scheme for Airbnb schemes was needed to stop the growth of these cheaper holiday venues, which were increasingly being used for hen and stag parties.

“Of course, the council need to do more to control these gatherings, but regulation is the key to stop them emerging across the city and taking over residential areas while also undermining licensed accommodation like hotels, guest houses and genuine B&Bs,” she said.

She claimed that with house prices moving beyond the reach of constituents and communities ‘turning into the wild west,’ it was important to flag up the challenges facing York to the Secretary of State.

“In meeting with him today, I have laid out a real alternative for York, where houses are developed to meet the needs of the city and existing stock is protected from people wanting to exploit homes for significant profits,” she said.

She claimed property owners could make as much money over a couple of weekends from holiday lets as they could from private renters over a month.

“These are highly organised affairs, which are designed to maximise profits while marketing York as a ‘party city’,” she said.’

“When I have families desperate for a home to live in, it makes my blood boil that people are using the valuable resource of a home to simply make themselves rich. When this happens, families are turned off travelling into York and we get hit economically too.”

She said she had set out a vision of what York could be, if Government ensured there were opportunities for its economy to grow, giving everyone access to a good quality, well paid job.

”I ultimately want York to be returned to the people of this city,” she said. “For too long, decisions have been made without the interests of residents at heart. Securing good jobs and homes for the people of York is my focus, and that was the case I made today.” She said she would be holding further meetings with senior officials in the near future.