What is a House in Multiple Occupation?
The Council has decided to confirm a Direction that will mean that planning permission will be required to change the use of a single family house into a shared house occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals - known as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
This direction came into effect on 02 July 2012.
What properties are covered?
The Direction covers the whole borough, but does not included uses such as children's homes, or care homes.
The change of use to an HMOs occupied by more than 6 unrelated individuals has always needed planning permission, the Direction extends this to include smaller properties.
Why is this being done?
The Council recognises that well managed HMOs can play a useful role in the range of housing available in the town to meet local needs. The purpose of the Direction is not to stop their provision altogether but to ensure that, through the need to obtain planning permission in individual cases, undesirable concentrations of HMOs do not occur anywhere in the town in future. Suitable planning policies to prevent such concentrations are being developed through the Local Development Framework1 plan making process.
The legal background
In May 2011, Cabinet2 made a Direction under Article 4(i) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2010 removing permitted development rights otherwise granted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No 2) (England) Order 2010 to change the use of a Class C3 dwelling house to a Class C4 House in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
Public consultation on the Direction took place in July/August 2011.
7 representations were received – 4 in favour and 3 against.
On 31 October, Cabinet considered the representations received and decided to confirm the Direction.
Designation of an area for additional HMO Licensing
Following public consultation, Cabinet approved the introduction of an additional licensing scheme for Housing Multiple Occupation. The designation was made on 14 June 2011, and the scheme came into effect on the 19 September 2011 and ran for 5 years from this date.
Following completion of the scheme a review has been undertaken.
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