Planning permission isn’t currently required to use a property where up to 6 unrelated individuals are living as a single household. If the property is to be occupied by more than 6 individuals then it is necessary to make a planning application to change the use of the property. This means that the majority of existing HMOs have not been subject to the assessment that comes with a planning application.
The proposed new controls, via an Article 4 Direction application, would mean that a planning application would be required to use a dwelling in particular areas of Yeovil as an HMO for more than 3 unrelated people thereby allowing the impacts to be properly considered and local people to be consulted. The additional controls would not affect existing HMOs.
Councillor Angie Singleton, Portfolio Holder for Development Management at South Somerset District Council said, “HMOs are an important element of our housing stock and it is necessary to ensure there is sufficient capacity to meet increasing demands. However, it is equally important to ensure that the location and quality of HMO’s are properly assessed to ensure that there is no adverse impact upon surrounding properties”.
Councillors of the Area South Committee have resolved to progress the Article 4 Direction in principle and the Council is now undertaking consultation with stakeholders and the local community via site notices displayed in the areas affected. The consultation period is now underway and ends Friday 10th June 2016.
The draft map of the proposed affected areas and more information about the consultation is viewable at www.southsomerset.gov.uk/HMO