Northampton Borough Council cabinet to decide whether changing family homes to HIMOs would need planning permission

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Northampton Borough Council's cabinet is to consider whether planning permission should be required for developing family homes into Houses in Multiple Occupation in three areas of the town.

If agreed to during the January 17 meeting, a Non-Immediate Article 4 Direction will come into effect in areas of Far Cotton, Delapre and Cliftonville from September 29, 2018.

This will mean that planning permission will be required by anyone who wishes to develop a family home into a HIMO within the specified area.

Although planning permission may still be granted, the introduction of the Non-Immediate Article 4 Direction will ensure that the local amenity of residents and adjoining occupiers, and the character of the area will be considered as part of the application process.

Councillor Tim Hadland, cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: “We must be mindful of balancing increased demand for accommodation with current pressures on existing services and amenities.

“The additional planning measures which are being recommended, paired with those that were introduced in areas most at risk of increased HMO development last April, will help to give us the opportunity we need to consider these issues as part of the planning process.”

Anyone currently in the process of buying a house in this area with the intention of converting it into a HIMO is advised to contact Northampton Borough Council’s planning team directly.

Northampton Borough Council has a dedicated helpline for anyone concerned about a privately rented HIMO near them and for landlords who might want advice – the number to call is 0300 330 7002.

A map detailing the areas to be covered by the proposed Non-Immediate Article 4 Direction can be viewed here.