NETHERFIELD AGAINST HMOs CALLS ON GEDLING BOROUGH COUNCIL TO CHANGE PLANNING RULES
Writing on Tuesday 8 March 2022, Nottingham Post's Jake Brigstock reported on a campaign starting in Netherfield calling for Gedling Borough Council to follow the lead of Nottingham City Council and Broxtowe Borough Council and introduce changes to planning legislation (namely an Article 4 Direction) to enable control over the number of future HMOs in Netherfield.
Campaign to limit growth of houses of multiple occupancy in Netherfield
However, many people in the area say they don't mind
Residents in an area of Nottinghamshire are divided over houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) in their area.
A number of residents in Netherfield have complained to Conservative MP for Gedling Tom Randall about HMOs.
A campaign group called Netherfield Against HMOs have already called on Gedling Borough Council to change planning rules to limit the number in the town.
Gedling Borough Council has told Nottinghamshire Live there is one live application for a HMO there at the time of writing.
Mr Randall has written a letter to Labour councillor John Clarke, leader of the Gedling Borough Council, calling for change.
The letter said: "Across Netherfield, we have already seen a large amount of single-family terraced houses converted into shared living.
"I understand that developers are targeting the area, taking advantage of its proximity to Nottingham city centre and the Victorian housing stock, to convert even more in areas like Chandos Street.
"Like many residents in Netherfield, I worry about how these short-term tenancies will change the Netherfield community.
"HMOs, by their very nature, have more occupants and increase the amount of traffic on our roads as more cars park on the already congested streets, and they also add more strain to our Victorian drainage system.
"Government has introduced powers to enable councils to require property owners to apply for planning permission should they wish to convert a property into a HMO.
"This is called an Article 4 Direction and has been introduced in neighbouring councils, including the City of Nottingham and Broxtowe, and on behalf of Netherfield residents, I ask that Gedling Borough Council support the improvement of community by introducing an Article 4 Direction."
One resident Nottinghamshire Live spoke to did raise concerns if there were to be more HMOs.
Paul Mason, 52, who lives in Netherfield, said: "If there are more people around, there needs to be more resources in the area.
"You see a lot more drug dealing activity around here and you see a lot more people walking about who are linked to this.
"I haven't noticed many HMOs in the area yet though."
But on the whole, residents said they were not against HMOs, and agreed they have not noticed that many in the area.
Lee Morris, 37, a project manager for Highways England who lives in Netherfield, said: "I've not noticed that kind of thing around here to be honest.
"It's not really my business if someone asks four of their friends to stay, it's a difficult one to judge."
Thomas Noble, 24, who has lived in Netherfield for 4 months, said: "I'm not that bothered if there are more HMOs, as long as everyone remains calm."
Richard Harrison, 50, who works as a dog psychologist and lives in Carlton, said: "I haven't noticed HMOs around Netherfield that much, but one reason for it for me is that people who are struggling to get by need it.
"It's the only option some people have, and it's difficult to criticise those people."
Judith Beardsmore, 69, who lives in Carlton, said: "My son lives in Netherfield and he's not against them, I've got one near where I live and it's not a problem at all, my friend lives around the corner from one too and she's very happy with it.
"It gives people the chance to have their space and the housing market is very difficult to get into.
"It's good too so that people are not on their own, and if people are struggling it's nice for them to have that companionship."
A Gedling Borough Council spokesperson said: "In 2010, the government's Housing Minister, Grant Shapps MP, introduced changes to legislation that allowed people to automatically convert a house into a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) without planning permission.
"We are aware concerns have been raised by a community group in Netherfield about the number of HMOs in their community.
"Council officers have met with the group to discuss their issues and are in the process of providing feedback on their views to senior councillors.
"Once further discussions have taken place a response will also be provided to the recent letter from the local MP."