Our clients wanted to convert a terraced house in Northampton into a HMO for 6 people.
The council is not very keen on the creation of new HMOs and it has detailed guidance (the HMO SPD) that sets out various criteria that must be met before permission will be granted for a change of use.
The main concern in this case was the possible impact on local parking conditions. The property is a small house, with no off-street parking, and there is quite high parking pressure in the area.
The council’s guidance asks for one parking space per HMO room, but we argued that this was excessive. No property would be likely to provide 6 off-street parking spaces for a 6 bedroom house.
It is also fair to assume that not all of the residents of a HMO would own a car, especially close to the town centre.
We pointed out that the house is within close walking distance of a bus stop, local shops, a café, a GP surgery and a dentist.
Overall, the inspector decided that the house was close enough to shops and facilities that future occupiers would not need a car for day-to-day living and there would not therefore be any likely harm in terms of parking stress.
To learn more about how to get planning permission for a HMO, check out Martin Gaine’s book, Planning for HMOs, available for sale on Amazon and at all good bookshops.
It explains what a HMO, when it is permitted development, what is meant by an Article 4 direction, and how to get planning permission if it is need.
If you have been refused planning permission for a HMO, contact our team for support and advice.