ANGRY locals have hit out at the disruption being caused by an explosion of Air bnb holiday lets in Largs and Millport.

They claim they are struggling to 'live in peace' because of noise and general nuisance caused by people renting the properties - as well as voicing fury at paying full council tax where short term lets are being classed as business and exempt from the charge.

Now North Ayrshire Council is to be given new powers to bring into force licensing schemes to tackle the issues around short-term lets..

Cllr Tom Marshall, chair of the North Ayrshire planning committee, says concerns have been raised on the island in relation to issues in relation to Air BnB properties.

He said: “I have been approached by a number of local constituents who are affected by the operation of these short term lets.

"The problem that some residents face include not being able to enjoy their home due to noise disturbance and general nuisance as well as the council tax issue.

"North Ayrshire Council will move to develop its own regulatory scheme from 2021.

"It will mean that short term lets require to be licensed and conform with safety requirements for example smoke detectors and that they will pay the appropriate level of local and also national taxes on their profits.

"In some areas the growth of short term lets has led to increased property prices that impinge of the availability of properties for purchase."

The scheme will set safety requirements for all short-term lets as well as tackling littering or overcrowding of properties.

The scheme would work alongside the government's plans to give councils the ability to introduce a so-called 'tourist tax' in the future.

Housing minister Kevin Stewart said: “Short-term lets can offer people a flexible travel option and have contributed positively to Scotland’s tourism industry and local economies across the country.

“However, we know that in certain areas, particularly tourist hot spots like Largs and Millport, high numbers of short-term lets are causing problems and often make it harder for people to find homes to live in.

“That is why we are empowering local authorities to implement a system that works for their area."

A spokesman for Airbnb said: “We have long supported calls for fair regulations and a tourism tax in Scotland.

“Now we want to work with the Scottish Government and local authorities on clear and simple guidance for hosts.

“Our platform is an economic lifeline for countless local families and travel on Airbnb boosts the Scottish economy by almost £2 million a day.”