I last had a major moan about HMO’s back in August of last year and if you take a look, you’ll know why I’m delighted to have had an email (below) this morning from Manchester City Council with the information that from October 2011, planning permission will be required before a ‘normal’ houses can be turned into a House of Multiple Occupation in the Manchester area. I am a professional landlord but live with my family in an area which has been engulfed in HMO’s over that last 20yrs. I was a student here in Fallowfield in the early 90’s, moved away and then back again four years ago when I had a car accident and had to move temporarily into a house I had rented out in the heart of student land. We are still here and have seen at first hand, unlike many landlords, the impact too many HMO’s have on a street /area – it’s bloody ugly, let me tell you.
The vast percentage of landlords do not live in the areas where they’ve willy nilly crammed extra bodies in houses far too small to home them, with the resulting problems always known and suffered by residents but increasingly recognised by councils and the last government. This government’s yet to be persuaded but here’s hoping they’ll listen to local voices.
Maybe it’s too late for some areas, Fallowfield being one of them. The heart has been ripped from the community in the search of endless profit and this may be too little too late, but it’s a start. Will families and first time buyers move back? I doubt it, but hopefully this change will stop more areas becoming hugely unbalanced in terms of long term residents and short term tenants.
Will the planners actually try and stop too many houses being carved up and converted after October 2011? What will their criteria really be, 20% of houses on a street, 30%, 50? Personally I think no more than 30% or the balance tips and normal families move away as their street degenerates due to lack of care by short term residents with little loyalty or love for the area.
I’m for it, wholeheartedly, but have a feeling I’m going to be in the minority amongst the landlords I know!
I am emailing you as you have asked to be kept informed of matters relating to Manchester’s Local Development Framework and planning policies in the City. This email is to let you know that the Article 4 Direction made by Manchester City Council on the 7th October 2010 under Article 4(1) of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, as amended, was confirmed by the Council on 17th January 2011 . The Article 4 Direction will come into force automatically on 8th October 2011; and from this date it will remove permitted development rights for change of use from a Class C3 dwellinghouse to a Class C4 house in multiple occupation, which means that planning permission will be required for this type of development. The Direction will apply across the whole of the City.
The report confirming the Article 4 Direction, the confirmed Direction and accompanying map, and the statutory notice for the Direction can be downloaded from the council’s website athttp://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/608/development_control/4847/article_4_direction and the Direction can also be viewed at the City Council’s Customer Service Centre, Ground Floor, One First Street, Manchester. If you have any queries regarding the Article 4 Direction please telephone 0161 234 4678 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning Strategy Team
Manchester City Council
PO Box 532