WORCESTER MOVES TO CONTROL HMOs
It has been reported (Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing, 21 January 2014) that, if proposals are backed by councillors and residents, the proportion of the city's houses that can be converted into HMOs will be limited.
Last January the Council agreed to require landlords to seek planning permission to convert a C4 'family' home into a small (C4) HMO (three to six occupants). Since then, it has been working up a planning policy to govern how decisions are made on applications for change of use to an HMO.
The draft policy proposes that a property can only be converted into an HMO if, within a 100 m radius, no more than 10% of properties are already classed as HMOs. The policy also proposes that no more than two properties next door to each other can be converted into HMOs.
The two Worcester wards with the highest proportion of HMOs are St. Clement (12%) and St. John (nearly 8%). Both are located near the main university campus.
The leader of Worcester City Council, Cllr. Adrian Gregson, is quoted as having said: "This type of housing is some of the most popular in Worcester, and we know it's vital for our local economy, often helping young people who are just starting their careers to affordably live in our great city.
"But a high concentration of HMOs in a single part of Worcester can change the character of that area, so our aim here is to ensure that HMOs are spread more evenly across the city."
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