Cabinet to approve new controls on growth of Houses in Multiple Occupation

New controls to limit the number of large family homes which can be converted into Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are due to be approved by our Cabinet next week.

New HMOs are usually allowed under permitted development, meaning they do not require planning permission.

However, a year ago our cabinet agreed to make an Article 4 Direction which would require all new HMO developments to gain planning permission, therefore giving the council the power to say no if it meant losing a larger family house or if it would mean too many HMOs would be clustered together.

Now the year-long notice period has passed, and a consultation exercise has been carried out, the order will be confirmed if cabinet members approve the report to be presented at their meeting on Wednesday 16 June.

The report says there is already an adequate supply of Houses in Multiple Occupation across the borough, whereas there is a shortage of larger family homes.

The Article 4 Direction is intended to benefit local people by helping provide an adequate supply of larger family homes to meet demand, while at the same time helping control the clustering of HMOs. This will help ensure mixed and balanced communities.

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Regeneration and Culture, said: “We know there is a boroughwide shortage of larger, family homes, and although HMOs can provide valuable affordable housing in some instances, the current planning rules gives us very little power to prevent rapid growth of HMOs in our communities.

“This Article 4 direction will give us the power to say no, and to make informed decisions for the benefit of local residents. It puts us in a much stronger position when we’re looking at the mix of housing available in all our neighbourhoods and goes a long way to answering some of the concerns local people have raised with us.

 Read the full cabinet report.

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