GOVERNMENT U-TURN ON HMO POLICY
25 May 2010
Housing minister Grant Shapps is to amend Labour's highly controversial change of
planning rules for Houses in Multiple Occupation
The legislation created just before the election, introduced a new planning class to record whether a household was inhabited by a single family or up to six unrelated sharers, with the intention of restricting the circumstances in which the type of occupants could change. In practice what this meant was that small properties which were going to be shared for the first time would need planning permission for change of use. Labour argued that the crackdown was necessary to prevent the 'studentification' of neighbourhoods. However, the new housing minister wasted no time in scrapping the proposed changes. “I therefore intend to amend the HMO rules to allow changes of use between family houses and small, shared houses to take place freely without the need for planning applications. This change will allow the free development of smaller shared housing, which is a vital component of our private rented sector, unless there is a serious threat to the area.” Ian Potter, operations manager of ARLA, said: “We welcome the housing minister's decision to change the rules for HMOs. Not doing so would have added an unnecessary layer of red tape as a further barrier for private landlords.” The revised arrangements are due to be in place by October 1.
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The Wet Fish Cafe
Once a classic "wet fish shop" in the 1900s, The Wet Fish Cafe is now in its 7th year and is one of the most popular eateries on West End Lane. It is renowned for its 'modern comfort food', extensive wine list and fresh ingredients.