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‘Insufficient evidence’ for legal order limiting HMOs in Netherfield, says council


Assessments into a potential legal order limiting the number of rented houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in Netherfield have again concluded there is “insufficient evidence” it is needed.

Gedling Borough Council commissioned a six-month investigation in June after concerns from politicians and residents about the rising number of HMOs.

A HMO is a house, often previously used by families, which has been converted by a landlord into multiple rooms for individual tenants.

They are frequently used in areas heavily populated by students but are also becoming more common in more traditionally residential communities.

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HMO public meeting 2 Netherfield
PICTURED: Residents held a meeting about how to put a stop to HMOs in Netherfield earlier this year (PHOTO: Gedling Eye)
Tom Randall and Mike Adams
PICTURED: Gedling Mp Tom Randall, left, and Cllr Mike Adams, right, in Netherfield collecting signatures for a petition to stop the rise in HMOs

Some Netherfield residents believe the area is becoming a hotspot for the properties and feel it has led to parking issues, drainage problems and more anti-social behaviour.

There have also been fears about an increased number of family homes being lost from the town.

The investigations followed a survey by Gedling’s Conservative MP Tom Randall and Tory councillors on the prevalence of HMOs in Netherfield.

It gathered 111 responses raising similar concerns while a meeting in March saw residents voice fears over the impact on their community.

In June, cabinet members on the Labour-run authority commissioned further investigations to assess whether legal limits should be placed on new HMOs.

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This would be in the form of an ‘Article 4 direction’ – an order aimed at clamping down on the number of HMOs being proposed by developers.

The move would give more power to the authority to restrict existing properties from being converted into a HMO.

Currently, residential homes do not need to be given planning permission to be converted into small HMOs, as per Government legislation.

This legislation was described in June as a “misstep” and Councillor John Clarke (Lab), the council’s leader, has written to Whitehall urging for a rethink.

If an Article 4 direction was declared, it would mean planning applications would be required to convert properties and give councillors the power to turn them down.

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But this would only be issued if evidence showed it was needed and the Labour-run authority has confirmed this is not the case.

New papers say just 12 out of the 2,915 homes in  Netherfield are HMOs – working out at 0.41 per cent of all houses.

The authority says HMOs are also distributed across the town and there “does not appear to be an over-concentration on one particular locality”.

It adds that concerns raised by residents through public meetings and surveys do not “merit suitable justification to progress an Article 4”.

The results of the six-month investigation are to be examined by the authority’s cabinet meeting on Thursday (December 8).

The council said: “There is still currently insufficient evidence to demonstrate an Article 4 direction is necessary to protect local amenities or the wellbeing of the Netherfield ward.

“The situation should, however, be monitored to ensure that a proliferation of HMOs does not emerge.

“[This is] in any particular locality or the Netherfield ward as a whole, which might then justify further that consideration of an Article 4 direction is required.

“No other measures are therefore required to protect the amenity or well-being of the Netherfield ward.”

The authority adds that its selective licensing policy, which requires landlords to meet strict guidelines, monitors the rental sector in Netherfield.

If it progressed with Article 4 under current evidence, it says the decision “would not be evidenced and wouldn’t comply” with national planning policies.

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  1. Someone must be getting a back hander.
    Not to mention the money the council get for the selective licensing thing.
    That’s all Nottingham’s going to HMO’s and Student accommodation.
    Unless Families can afford to buy what few over priced homes. Then the lack of secondary schools yet the Gedling population just on the rise.


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