City moves to set 10% limit on HMOs
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing
The proportion of a city's homes that can be converted into houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) will be limited at 10%, if proposals are backed by councillors and residents.
Worcester City Council agreed last January to make it a requirement for landlords to seek planning permission to convert a normal home into an HMO containing between three and six beds.
The council is now working on a planning policy which will set the rules for how decisions are made on applications for HMOs.
This week the council’s planning committee will consider the draft policy, which proposes that a property could only be converted into an HMO if, within a 100 metre radius, no more than 10% of housing is already classed as HMOs.
Worcester's two wards with the highest proportion of HMOs are both on the west side of the city, near to the main University campus. In St Clement ward 12% of properties are HMOs, while in St John nearly 8% are.
The draft policy also proposes that no more than two properties next door to each other can be converted into HMOs.
Councillor Adrian Gregson, council leader, said: “This type of housing is some of the most popular in Worcester and we know it’s vital for our local economy, often helping young people who are just starting their careers to affordably live in our great city.
“But a high concentration of HMOs in a single part of Worcester can change the character of that area, so our aim here is to ensure that HMOs are spread more evenly across the city.”