NOTES FROM THE OPEN MEETING OF THE NOTTINGHAM ACTION GROUP ON HMOs
Wednesday 24 May 2017

1. Local Plan

The LAPP will be going to the Council’s Executive Board on 20 June 2017 for approval for a further round of publication. Consultation on this will take place over the 2017 summer period.

The Local Plan proposes alterations to the approach currently used for student housing, viz.

  • The threshold for considering whether an area has a significant concentration of HMOs will be reduced from the present 25% of households to 10%;
  • The calculation will include all HMOs, not just those occupied by student households;
  • The ‘significant concentration’ is only one consideration and is made alongside a number of amenity criteria.

The Local Plan will be submitted for examination by an Inspector in Autumn 2017, with hearing sessions taking place during the winter. There is no doubt that the approach to HMOs will be a key issue, and the Inspector will need to be convinced that the Council’s approach is both reasonable and justified if the policy is to be endorsed in its current form.

If it is found to be sound, the hope is that will be adopted in Spring 2018.

2. Headline Planning Statistics:

 (a) Enforcement Activity Since 2012:

  • 216 enforcement cases involving an HMO investigation have taken place: no breaches found in 154 of these cases;
  • 65 PCNs issued;
  • 20 Enforcement Notices issued.

 (b) Regulation 7 Letting Board Cases:

  • 561 Notices  have been served, as a result of which all the boards were removed;
  • Prosecutions have been taken out against 6 repeat offenders, all of which have veen successful with costs awarded to the Council in all cases, along with fines. 

(c) Planning Applications Relating to HMOs and Change of Use:

  • HMO type applications: 171 HMO-type applications have been made to the Council, of which 58 were granted permission.
  • 86 Certificates of Lawfulness have been applied for (largely for non-family dwellings such as pubs, offices or buildings in other use: 79 Certificates have been issued.

(d) Article 4 Planning Applications (i.e. change of use from Class C3 to Class C4 HMO) since March 2012:

  • Planning applications. In total 84 applications for permission to change use fom Class C3 to Class C4 (HMO) have been made, of which 65 have been refused. Those approved were largely in areas of the city with no concentrations of HMOa, in city centre locations, or on main transport corridors where family housing is not appropriate.
  • Appeals to the Planning Inspectorate: In total 23 have been made, the Planning Inspectorate allowing 8 and dismissing 15.
Editor's Note: These notes, which summarise the HMO-related planning activities undertaken by Nottingham City Council, formed the basis of a talk given by Paul Seddon, the Council's Head of Development Management, at the NAG meeting on Wednesday 24 May 2017, and were forwarded on to the NAG by him after the meeting for circulation and for publication on this website.