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Council ‘war’ on HMOs continues with two more extended schemes

Councillors in Brighton and Wigan have voted through 'article four direction' restrictions for smaller HMOs containing three or fewer unrelated people sharing common facilities.

Nigel Lewis


Two local councils have announced new restrictions on the number of HMOs as local authorities and their residents become worried about the ‘deteriorating’ effect they can have on areas when concentrated too densely.

Brighton has announced that its previously limited HMO restrictions are to become city-wide and Wigan has revealed that two of its wards are to be covered by restrictions on both small and large ones.

These ‘article four direction’ announcements follow a similar clamp-down earlier this month in Birmingham as well as proposals put forward in Leeds, Liverpool, Lewisham in London and Northampton over the past three months.

Brighton had previously only restricted the number of small shared houses in student areas of the city, but after public outcries this has now gone city-wide.

Now, to ‘prevent the deterioration of areas’ Brighton landlords will be required to seek planning permission to turn a property into either a small or large HMO.  This will only be granted if less than 10% of homes within a 50-metre radius are not already HMOs.

Wigan peer

In Wigan, the local council has voted to extend its HMO restrictions to small HMOs in Swinley and central Leigh.

“We appreciate that HMOs provide a form of low-cost, flexible housing, particularly for younger people and those on lower incomes, but there are concerns associated when the number of HMOs is increasing in a concentrated area,” local councillor Paul Prescott told local media.

“Such concerns include the impact on parking provision, excess noise, impact on the physical environment and changes to the character of a residential area.”

Read more about HMOs.

January 21, 2020

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