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HMO study makes recommendations

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A study looking at the impact of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in Charnwood has been published.

The assessment has taken place as part of Charnwood Borough Council’s review of its current Local Plan which guides where future development should take place.

The study was commissioned to help understand and assess the impact of HMOs on local communities and review the effectiveness of the Council’s existing planning policies.

A number of recommendations have been made and will be considered as part of a new draft Local Plan which will guide development up until 2036. A full public consultation about the Local Plan will be held later this year.

Cllr Eric Vardy, lead member for planning, said: “We know there’s often a lot of interest in HMOs in Charnwood so we are pleased to share these findings with people.

“The recommendations will be considered as part of the drawing up of a new Local Plan and I would encourage people to take part in the consultation and give their views.”

Cllr Margaret Smidowicz, lead member for licensing, said: “While this particular policy relates to planning, as the lead member for licensing, which is also used to regulate HMOs, I am pleased the study has taken place and the recommendations will be considered.”

Currently the Council’s planning policy says a concentration of 20 per cent of HMOS (small or large) within a 100 m radius of a planning application is an important material consideration when determining planning applications.

The assessment recommends to:

  • reduce the HMO threshold from 20 per cent to 10 per cent
  • keep the 100m radius but consider expanding it to a minimum number of properties where natural or built features e.g. roads/rivers significantly impact the number of properties included
  • consider the issue of population density - a practical solution to this would be to take account of the number of large HMOs in the radius
  • the threshold should remain as one factor considered in determining applications
  • sandwiching of properties between two HMOs should be avoided
  • continue to apply the threshold only to Loughborough as the evidence identifies that most wards outside of Loughborough have only small proportions of HMOs
  • extensions to HMOs should be included in the policy with a clear policy approach.

The full report can be viewed at www.charnwood.gov.uk/HMO_study