Plans to curb Peterborough HMOs under consideration
Plans to curb the development of houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) in Peterborough are being considered.
Peterborough City Council said it is carrying out research into whether Article 4 Directions are needed to “control the concentration of HMOs in some parts of the city”.
Under current planning legislation, householders have the right to make alterations to their property without planning permission (known as permitted development).
An Article 4 Direction removes this right so that certain types of alterations will require planning permission.
According to the council, a study has suggested there may be around 450 unlicensed HMOs across the city, with a physical check to verify these now underway.
The project is being run by the authority’s planning department with assistance from the housing enforcement team.
In late 2018, the Government changed the definition of an HMO, removing the criteria on the number of storeys in a building.
This means that any dwelling that houses five or more people who are not a family is now classed as an HMO and must be licensed.
This has led to an increase of more than 350 newly licensed HMOs in Peterborough.
The council said; “Research is currently underway to look at whether Town and Country Planning legislation Article 4 Directions are needed to control the concentration of HMOs in some parts of the city.”
Calls for an Article 4 Direction in Peterborough have previously been made by Hampton Parish Council due to safety and congestion concerns, as well as Conservative member for Fletton & Woodston Cllr Andy Coles, who is now cabinet member for finance.