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City Council adopts new policy on HMO applications

CITY COUNCIL ADOPTS NEW POLICY ON HMO APPLICATIONS

The City Council’s Cabinet has now adopted a revised Supplementary Policy Document on Houses in Multiple Occupation.

Changes from the previous version are:

The 10% threshold within 40 m or 10+ properties, which previously applied only to the three northern wards, will now apply city-wide as guidance for refusal of an application for conversion to an HMO. (The 20% threshold which previously applied to the remainder of the city therefore no longer exists.)

Any new application which would involve ‘sandwiching’ a family home between two HMOs will normally be refused.

The guidelines for exceptional consent to an HMO application, where an owner has been unable to sell for family occupation due to the existing density of HMOs in the vicinity, has been clarified as where 80% of properties within the threshold area are already HMOs.

The wording on applications for extensions to existing HMOs has been strengthened to give greater emphasis to amenities and parking issues.

Though these are modest positive gains, our proposal that thresholds should relate to population density as well as just properties, as in some other cities, that there should be a ward-wide threshold, and that Halls of Residence should be taken into account has been rejected on grounds of complexity in relation to resourcing of the Planning Department.

Adrian Vinson

Committee Member