Cliff has operated as a freelance consultant since 2004. He does research, authors reports and is a facilitator and trainer. While at Heriot-Watt University he was also involved in contract research.

He has worked on numerous projects:

  • With Spatial Foresight GmbH ( ) to deliver research-based reports for the ESPON Co-ordination Unit on European territorial development and policy.
  • With the Royal Town Planning Institute ( to deliver the UK National Contact Point for the ESPON 2013 programme. 
  • As an external expert for the Royal Town Planning Institute on transnational projects within the ESPON 2013 programme.
  • For the ESPON 2013 Co-ordination Unit as a peer reviewer on Sounding Boards for research projects.
  • On European Union INTERREG projects.
  • On other European projects.
  • On Commonwealth, international and global projects.
  • On UK projects.  
Monday, 07 May 2018 10:57

Is Airbnb a threat to historic cities and towns?

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In parts of Edinburgh, the proliferation of Airbnb and its imitators is having a detrimental  impact on local amenity and community cohesion, says a new report by Edinburgh's Civic Trust, the Cockburn Association. While recognising that short-term self-catering accommodation can make efficient use of under-utilised space, and offer affordable accommodation, the report notes that it can also reduce the supply of long-term renting. In Edinburgh, the Old Town is the arae most directly affected, though by no means the only one. Some properties have been converted to commercial short-lets, in effect breaching the requirement to get planning permission for change of use. There are concerns, well expressd by an Old Town resident quoted in the report, about the disrption that such conversion causes within a tenemental property, and how absent owners complicate issues of property maintenance and repair.

The report reviews ways that other cities, including Berlin, Barcelona, Paris, San Fransisco, New York and Montreal have approached the need to regulate short-term letting. It concludes with a set of recommendations for action, arguing that a system of licensing offers the best way forward. However, there is als a call to amend the Use Classes Order. "Short-term letting of an entire residential unit for more than 90 days in a calendar year, regardless of the platform or agency used should be deemed to be commercial use, requiring planing permission." It argues that this would still allow the originial  "sharing" model to operate, which has long existed in Edinburgh where many people rent out rooms or entire properties during the annual Festival in August.

Click here to download the full report for free.


Read 4260 times Last modified on Monday, 07 May 2018 12:06

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