In a long reply on another post on HMOs last week, I concluded with the following paragraphs:
In essence this is where we are at today:
So what’s the likely result? Well You tell me, but what I see is that unless the Council decide to use Article 4, with the liberalised controls, the increased demand for HMOs will be met with an increased supply; the Council's enforcement team will do their best to police HMO quality, but if Council performance on the control of illegal conversions is anything to go by the impact will be limited.
What's the Solution?
I'd like to hear that I'm wrong in drawing the conclusions that I do, but it seems to me that we desperately need Article 4. Other Councils seem to agree. They're applying for it. Haringey say it’s too expensive. What exactly is the cost? I’d like to see the Council’s report on that.
I’ve been told that much of the cost is in the need to apply for the powers. However, in a previous post I quoted the Royal Planning Institute:
“Most importantly the Minister is also advising that councils with policies already limiting HMO development in parts of their locality, can bring in Article 4 Directions straightaway, without notice, to coincide with the national policy change.”
The problem we had with the spread of gambling establishments was principally an issue with national legislation that the Council had little influence on. With this issue, the Council has the power to control the unmanaged spread of HMOs. If five years down the line, the borough is witnessing multiple problems as a result of an explosion of HMOs we will be justified in pointing the finger at the Council as being responsible and justified in holding them accountable for failing to use the powers that are available.
I'm posting here just to check if folk think we should consider applying pressure for Article 4 or just let the fates do their worst?
This is one of the biggest issues facing the Council. As you are aware, one of the ways of tackling it is through an Article 4 Direction which if agreed by the Government would mean all HMO applications would have to go through planning. Prior to submission to the Government the Council has to run a local consultation. This is underway and is due to end on Jan 11.
It would be very helpful if members and readers of HoL who agree with this course of action send in their comments and endorsement. People should write to: firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com or by post to: Planning
Policy Team, Level 6, River Park House, 225 High Road, London N22 8HQ
It may also be helpful to read the submission from the Ladder Community Safety Partnership which I found a very helpful template. You can read it by opening the attached document file:
Cllr, St. Ann's Ward
There's an update here.