BOLTING THE STABLE DOOR:

Councillors Aim to Stop Beeston Tide of HMOs
 

Kit Sandeman, The Nottingham Post's Democracy Reporter posted on newspaper's website on Friday 5 July 2019 (and in the Saturday 6 July edition of the Post) a report on moves by Broxtowe Borough Council to introduce controls on student HMOs where this is a particular issue in Beeston. He wrote ...

Houses with several students living in them could face tougher restrictions under new plans approved last night by Broxtowe Borough Council.

Families are thinking of leaving the area, because the number of student Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) have increased so much around Beeston, according to one councillor.

Several councillors said the number of HMOs has ‘eroded the character of parts of Beeston’. 

Currently, no additional planning permission is needed to convert a ‘family house’ to an HMO in Broxtowe if there are six or fewer students living there. 

With two successful and growing universities, and pressure for student housing still high in the city, there has been a growth in recent years of student living across the border in Broxtowe, and Beeston in particular.

Now, concerns are being raised about the quantity of HMOs, and Broxtowe Borough Councilis looking to impose new restrictions.

In Nottingham, to convert a ‘family house’ to an HMO, you need to get special planning permission if there are going to be three or more unrelated people living in a house - lower than the threshold in Broxtowe.

Now, Broxtowe is considering bringing its rules in line with the city's, and is now looking into whether a policy would work.

It is hoped the move could help the council control the amount of new applications it receives, and give it power to reject applications it feels are inappropriate.

However to impose a scheme like this, the council has to have evidence showing there is a need for the new measures.

Now, Broxtowe Borough Council plans to collect this information, before a scheme could potentially be introduced by the end of the year, or early next year.

Councillor Lynda Lally represents Beeston Central for Labour, and said: “I’ve never known anything in the 20 years of being a councillor for Beeston Central which has been as controversial as this, apart from the tram.

“I genuinely feel this is a huge probelm, and we can’t just say ‘we’ll see how this goes', we can’t do that any more.

“I’ve had people in an emotional state saying I’m going to move out of here because I can’t stand what’s happening to my street any more.

“Family homes with three bedrooms are turning into homes with eight, nine and 10 bedrooms, so I’m really glad we are tackling this.”

“We cannot see our communities destroyed any more.

“This is not against students, this is about getting a better mix.”

Councillor Stephen Carr is the leader of the Liberal Democrats, and represents Beeston North.

He said: “Nottingham seems to now be saturated with HMOs.

“Just over the last few months (in Broxtowe) there are more, and more and more (HMOs) coming in.

“What we are trying to prevent at this stage, is not shutting the door after the horse has bolted, but preventing us becoming Dunkirk, or Lenton which, when you go there now when the students aren’t there, it’s deserted. It has no character, it has hardly any families left.

“We really need this policy quickly.”

The plan was approved unanimously at a meeting of Broxtowe Borough Council’s Jobs and Economy Committee yesterday (Thursday, July 4)

EDITOR'S COMMENT

As you will see if you read back issues of the NAG magazine (NAG Magazine (TransNAG), e.g. the Summer 2005 issue, p.3, and Summer-Autumn 2006, p.16, the NAG was actively supporting Beeston residents, locallhy and nationally, in their attempts to get their elected representatives and Nottingham University to acknowledge the pressures arising from studentification a good many years go now.

Those same elected members are to be congratulated now for their tardy attempt at closing the stable door.

It is a shame that, in the process, Lenton is, once again, used as the example to frighten the horses with. As some-one who has been directly involved with student-related issues for the last 20 years or so, and who has lived and/or worked in what is now Lenton & Wollaton East Ward for more years than I care to count, I can only support the sentiment of the comment posted by LentonLife: ... Please don’t insult our community like that.

It is more than a shame that Nottingham University continues to expect everyone else to deal with the, now very much foreseen impact, of studentification, ignoring its responsibilities to its students and to the residents who live in neighbourhoods around its campuses, and steadfastly coming up with one excuse after another for not building student accommodation on, for example, Jubilee Campus where there is more than enough space and where the Jubilee Campus Development Plan (2004), let alone simple logic, has indicated areas for development of student accommodation.