Northampton Borough Council proposes measures to manage HMOs

Published: Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Northampton Borough Council is proposing to introduce further planning measures to manage the number of houses of multiple occupancy (HMO) developed in some areas of Northampton.

Should the intended Article 4(1) Direction be established, homeowners in Far Cotton, Delapré and Cliftonville will have to apply for planning permission before converting a family home into a shared house (HMO).

With a growing rental sector and increasing demand for student accommodation, houses of multiple occupation are becoming an increasingly popular option with landlords. The Borough Council introduced new powers to tackle the issue in 2011 in response to concerns from local residents. Homes in the Castle, Abington, Trinity, Phippsville, Semilong, Kingsley, Kingsthorpe, St David’s, Sunnyside, Spring Park, Obelisk, and Briar Hill wards are already subject to these planning requirements.

The proposals, which will be discussed at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday 15 March, recommend that the requirement is introduced in two phases, taking immediate effect within a small area bounded by the River Nene to the north and Rothersthorpe Road and Forest Road to the south initially, with the wider area being affected within 12 months.

Councillor Tim Hadland, cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said:

“Far Cotton, Delapré and Cliftonville have been identified as they are desirable locations, within walking distance of the town centre as well as the new university campus, and we want to make sure we can balance the growing demand for student accommodation with the need to protect the existing amenities and the wellbeing of other local residents.

“The change does not mean that planning permission won’t be granted, as each application will be considered on its merits. However, it does give us an opportunity to consider issues such as noise levels and pressures on parking provision or other local facilities as part of the planning process.”

Northampton Borough Council has a dedicated helpline for anyone concerned about a privately rented HMO near them and for landlords who might want advice – the number to call is 0300 330 7002.