Issue - meetings

Draft Interim Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Developer Advice Note

Meeting: 11/12/2018 - Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Expired 13/07/20 (Item 36)

36 Draft Interim Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Developer Advice Note pdf icon PDF 79 KB

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That the Committee endorses the Cabinet’s decision to approve the content of the Draft Interim HMO Developer Advice Note attached to this report, and for it to be published for public consultation at the earliest possible opportunity.


The Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Protection informed Members that following changes to the guidance issued by Welsh Government (WG) developments of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) applications were now required to go to Planning Committee.  There had been a significant increase in this type of property leading to complaints by local residents and Councillors.  Previously properties like this were found in university towns but because of the shortage of housing more were being developed. He outlined what the Developer Advice Note would entail as the current policies were not sufficient to cover this  The Planning Committee had found it difficult when dealing with these types of Planning Applications as there was no specific policy covering HMOs under the Urban Development Plan (UDP).  The policy was being developed for inclusion within the Local Development Plan and this Developer Advice Notice provided guidance in the interim to developers.  The Advice Note required approval prior to being released for consultation and adopted by Cabinet and this Committee had been asked for its comments.


The Chief Officer (Planning Environment and Economy) reported that Planning Strategy Group had been consulted on this and the draft Interim Developer Advice Note was attached to the report as Appendix 1.  Once the Committee endorsed the Cabinet’s decision to approve the content it would then be published for public consultation.   Following the consultation it would be adopted by Cabinet and then an all Member Workshop would be held.


Councillor Joe Johnson sought clarification regarding the definition of HMO and asked if it meant 3 people who were not members of the same family.  The Chief Officer confirmed that was the case.


Councillor Owen Thomas referred to the (UDP) saying previously policies were able to be put in place prior to its adoption and asked if the policy could be formalised in the same way.   In response the Chief Officer said the UDP was different to Local Development Plan (LDP) in that the plan was already adopted.


Councillor Mike Peers confirmed Planning Strategy Group had made comments on this.  The report stated Cabinet received the report on the 9th October but on the agenda for Cabinet it was presented on the 23rd October and sought clarification.  He felt that the Committee should have had sight of the draft document prior to consideration at Cabinet.  He then referred to Outlook and Privacy point 4.12 “The LPA considers that a reasonable outlook comprises a minimum distance of 12 metres” and felt it should be changed to “aim for a minimum distance of 12 metres”.  At 4.15 Councillor Peers suggested that when referring to the basement window minimum distances be included.   He added that the plans and diagrams were clear but advised concerns were raised at Planning Strategy Group regarding fire escapes and he suggested a reference to Building Control was inserted and what was covered by them.


In response the Chief Officer (Planning Environment and Economy) confirmed the date of the Cabinet meeting was the 23rd October.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36