Welsh local authorities need more power to control Houses in Multiple Occupation - Peter Black

2010 Mawrth 30 12:00 AM

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Housing Spokesperson, Peter Black has renewed his call on the Welsh Government to reconsider its refusal to force owners of new Houses in Multiple Occupation to apply for planning permission.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are rented separately by several tenants and provide affordable accommodation to many students and young professionals. However, too many HMOs in one area can cause serious problems to the community, such as parking, noise, and rubbish, whilst short-term residents have little interest in participating in the community.

At Westminster the Minister for Planning and Housing announced in January 2010 that local authorities in England will have the power to force a landlord who wishes to turn a property into a HMO to apply for a change of use order. As a result, Mr. Black has written to request the Welsh Minister for Planning to follow the English example, but so far without success.

"Local governments need the power to control the number of HMOs in a particular area so as to reduce their impact on the community," said Mr. Black. "In rejecting my original request, the Minister claimed that local government can use their existing powers to deal with the social problems caused by HMOs. However, since then I understand that Housing Cabinet Members in Welsh Councils have formally requested that this issue be looked at again.

"Trying to deal with the parking chaos and rubbish and noise nuisance caused by too many HMOs in one area retrospectively after long-term residents have been driven away will do little to undo the damages on the community. I hope that this time the Minister will listen to the growing pressure to reverse her policy and change planning law."

Beth hoffech chi ei wneud nesaf?