Councillors agree Article 4 direction in Lincoln
Members of the City of Lincoln Council’s Executive last night (Monday, January 25) agreed to introduce a direction giving the authority more control over the location and density of housing in multiple occupation (HMOs) in the city.
The Article 4 direction means owners wishing to convert their property into a HMO will need planning permission from March 1 this year.
The move follows more than 12 months of evidence-gathering, including three public consultations, after members agreed in December 2014 to explore ways to better manage future development in the city after residents raised concerns over the impact of high densities of HMOs in certain areas.
Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the council, said: “Although we recognise that HMOs are an important part of the housing market we need to ensure they form part of balanced communities across the city.
“The council has undertaken a significant amount of work, including three public consultations, during the last 12 months to inform our decision and we believe introducing an Article 4 direction is the best option to better manage the future development of HMOs in Lincoln.
“It will allow us to exercise more control over their density and location, preventing over-concentrations in some areas that could harm local communities.”
Planning applications for HMOs will be judged against criteria including that no more than 10 per cent of properties within a 100 metre radius of the property should be HMOs.
More than 500 HMOs in Lincoln have been declared as part of the council’s evidence gathering to improve its knowledge of HMOs in the city. Landlords and property owners can continue to declare existing HMOs at www.lincoln.gov.uk/hmo
The direction will be reviewed after 12 months.
- In August 2014, full council considered a petition from residents in Carholme ward calling on the authority to take action to limit the growth of HMOs.
- The council carried out a city-wide consultation seeking the views of residents and other interested parties on the issues raised by the growth of HMOs.
- In December 2014, the council’s Executive considered those views and the available options and decided to pursue the introduction of an Article 4 direction.
- In March 2015 a second public consultation was carried out resulting in a total of 268 responses. Of these, 133 were in favour of an Article 4 direction, 130 were against and the remainder were observations.
- Reasons given by those who supported the direction included that the over-saturation of HMOs had led to the deterioration of local communities; current planning controls did not give power to control the spread and concentration; and the over-concentration has had a serious detrimental impact on the quality of life for permanent residents.
- Reasons given by those objecting to the direction included the effect on the value of property and an increase in rent for those living in HMOs
- A third consultation took place in September and October last year, focusing on the criteria that would be used to determine applications.
- The results of this and other evidence gathered went before Executive on Monday, January 25, 2016.
- Executive agreed to implement an Article 4 Direction from March 1, 2016.