Gedling councillors discuss plans to tackle rising number of HMOs in Netherfield

The motion was proposed by Conservative councillors Sam Smith and Mike Adams after they conducted research in the town

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Gedling Borough councillors discussed plans for measures to be introduced to help tackle the growing number of Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) in Netherfield at a council meeting on Wednesday night.

A motion was proposed by Conservative councillors Sam Smith and Mike Adams following research conducted in the town, with residents raising concerns around the number of HMOs being created.

Their motion called for an Article 4 direction to be introduced by the council.

If an Article 4 Direction was approved then developers would need to obtain planning permission to convert a family dwelling into an HMO for between 3 and 6 unrelated people to share. Planning permission is currently only required for properties shared by 7 or more unrelated people.

The Tory motion was amended during the course of the meeting and Labour councillors removed a September deadline for discussion and also requested an opportunity to respond to a letter sent by Gedling MP Tom Randall on the matter. They also want to write to Government requesting they reverse HMO legislation introduced back in September 2010.

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To support their motion, Cllr Sam Smith revealed the results of a survey they carried out in the town.

He said 117 residents had taken part with 75% noticing an increase in HMOs and 93% wanting article 4 direction introduced.

Gedling Borough Council Civic Centre
PICTURED: Councillors debated the issue during a meeting at the Civic Centre (PHOTO: Gedling Eye)

Gedling Borough Council leader and Netherfield councillor John Clarke said more information should be gathered before a definite decision was made.

He said that while he previously believed Article 4 would help sort out any HMO problem in Netherfield, he now thought it could leave the council vulnerable to costs.

“When you get down to the nitty-gritty, it [article 4] won’t sort it,” he said.

“We could become vulnerable to costs. They could be significant to a small council and that’s not good.

“There is a way through it and this is not saying ‘no’ to Article 4 but let’s get some more information.”

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Councillor Clarke said only one resident had ever raised a complaint about HMOs at his town surgeries.

“If there were more – I’d tell you.”

He said he also ‘didn’t take kindly’ to the Tory survey raising fears over HMOs in Netherfield and an increase in crime.

He said: “Crime is worse in Rushcliffe than it is in Netherfield and if you start putting those kind of things out there then these problems are going to get worse because you get the vigilante thing of ‘we don’t want this; we don’t want that”

“Let’s not whip it up too much, let’s get something sorted.”

Trent Valley councillor Michael Adams accused the leadership of Gedling Borough Council of ‘kicking the problem into the long grass’.

“This situation has been batted off again. The Government aren’t doing it – you’re doing it

“An amendment had been made to the original motion calling for a letter to local MPs and the government about reversing legislation. This amendment changes the motion’s direction to once again sending a letter, which is incredibly disappointing and will be disappointing for the residents of Netherfield who we spoke too as well.

“The fact Netherfield residents have a view on how they want their community to be is a positive thing and they have called on their local representatives, who they elect, to change things in their community. That’s what they put us here for.

“We have the power to refer these decisions to Council cabinet, let cabinet make a decision and enact that change, however once again it’s long grass time. Let’s kick it into the long grass and then maybe we can look at it one day.

He added: “It’s disappointing that words are again being chosen over action.”

The motion with amendments was approved and the case to introduce Article 4 will now be discussed further by the Council cabinet.

5 COMMENTS

  1. I only hope that Cnll John Clark actually lives next door to one…HMO, and also lets get people actually getting email and email address so we can actually get intouch with a councilor or letws get difference councillors in practice

  2. I am a first time investor into HMO in Netherfield and now put off completely with this discussion at the council about reversing the policy of HMO’s in Netherfield. What about a 6 bed HMO with a very high specification meeting all HMO regulatory standards with respected working professionals living in it and promptly paying rent each month to counter the rising costs in the UK? How else can a genuine landlord help the community to the growing demand of rentals? I am about to place my offer and with this article now skeptical if my investment will go waste if new reversing HMO policy is in place for Netherfield. Awaiting a response ASAP.

  3. there are no more car parking spaces for Netherfield, its chocker block with cars. Getting out of Kappler close is a death trap, the school run is appauling cars colllect down the road, bins are left out for days and we have to walk on the road people could get a mortgage for what you landlords are asking. We have a councillor who cannot work emails, they are sent somewhere else first to be read…..

  4. Absolutely disgraceful.
    I am very disappointed that positive action on this much needed motion has been put off until goodness knows when. Are there any firm dates for the proposed discussions to take place and any deadlines for when we might expect some news? In the first instance, urgent action is needed on this issue to at least suspend the tidal wave of HMO developments in Netherfield. Affordable, family houses are being lost to the Community at a alarming speed.
    The information is out there, further research is not necessary. I urge GBC to listen to, and act on the wishes of the residents of Netherfield. The Council’s aim of ‘Serving People, Improving Lives’ is not being met in this regard. These developments are making residents lives worse, not better. I applaud the Conservatives for instigating this process (something I never, ever, thought I would say) and am greatly disappointed that our Labour Council has failed to agree to this sensible, popular and necessary proposal, thus
    acknowledging and acting upon the concerns of the people they should be serving.

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