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  5. 14 October 2010
  6. Manchester plans city-wide move to control HMOs

Manchester plans city-wide move to control HMOs

Manchester City Council has announced plans to use an Article Four Direction to control the number of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in the city.

The direction will cover the whole of the city and is due to come into force in 12 months time. The move is expected to have an impact in areas like Fallowfield and Withington, where high concentrations of houseshares are having a negative impact on the surrounding neighbourhood because of an increase in noise and disturbance.

At the beginning of this month changes to planning regulations meant properties could become HMOs without needing planning permission.

Councillor Nigel Murphy, the council's executive member for the environment, said: "We know a lot of residents are concerned about the spread of shared houses, particularly in areas in the south of the city, and we are keen to do whatever we can to manage.

"The new law would have meant that any control over the spread of shared houses would have been taken away from us.

"However, we need to be able to tackle the problems caused by the uncontrolled growth of shared lets, making sure communities retain the identity of their neighbourhoods, and that is why we are now introducing this order."

The new HMO regime is facing a legal challenge from three local authorities, led by Milton Keynes Borough Council who claim it was not properly consulted on and will have unintended financial consequences for planning authorities.

Read the Manchester City Council press release.


Roger Milne

14 October 2010