Council keeps up planning pressure on HMOs

Published: Monday, 5th September 2016

... as three East Oxford landlords lose appeals.

The Council has won three appeals against enforcement notices issued against some city landlords who had converted family houses in Grays Road and Valentia Road into Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) without planning permission. 

The properties came to light when the landlords applied for HMO licences and Planning Enforcement Officers issued the enforcement notices when planning permission was applied for and refused, but the properties continued to be used as HMOs. The landlords now have six months to cease using the properties as HMOs. 

The Planning Inspector said that the ‘use of the properties as HMOs without specific justification would undermine the objectives of the Council’s housing policies in the area’ and that ‘the quality of the internal space and facilities does not overcome the harm caused to the residential character of the area due to the overconcentration of HMOs in the road’.

Councillor Hollingsworth, Board Member for Planning and Regulatory Services said: “This shows that the Article 4 Directive we introduced in 2012 to control the number of new HMOs can be enforced. I welcome the Planning Inspector’s supportive comments on the Council’s policies on controlling HMO numbers. What would be even better and quicker for everyone involved would be a change in the law so that councils could refuse to issue an HMO licence where there is no planning permission.”