Councillors say new powers will help stem tide of HMOs
Recent years have seen an increase in HMOs, properties rented out to at least three people who are not from one household
Councillors have welcomed the first success of new powers to challenge the increasing numbers of HMOs in Filton.
Following the submission of an HMO application at 12 Fifth Avenue, pictured, South Gloucestershire Council decided that it exceeded the acceptable threshold within the area under new guidance introduced last year. This would mean it would adversely impact the community and so was recommended refusal.
Recent years have seen an increase in HMOs, properties rented out to at least three people who are not from one household, across Filton, with the concentration of cases in some areas having raised concerns around anti-social behaviour, parking pressures, waste and recycling management and noise complaints.
Working to stem the tide, South Gloucestershire Council approved a new Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) in September 2021, which requires new HMO applications to meet planning policy requirements.
This was further supported by plans announced at the end of last year to introduce an Article 4 Direction, a means by which the Council can require developments such as HMO applications which don’t normally requiring planning permission to have to apply and be considered against planning policy and the impact it would have on the local community.
Cllr Chris Wood, who represents Filton, said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have seen our first success in our attempts to stem the tide of HMO applications in Filton which, if left unchecked, will have an irreversible negative impact on our community. I will continue to oppose unnecessary applications that are of no benefit to Filton and look forward to seeing future successes come through.”
Cllr Steve Reade, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Environment and Strategic Infrastructure, said: “We will take whatever measures are necessary to properly support and maintain growth without compromising what makes them great places to live.”
In response to councillors' concerns surrounding an application in Braemar Crescent, see pages 8 and 9, a South Gloucestershire Council spokesperson said: “The Council needs to treat each application independently and consider it by its own individual merits. While some HMO applications will not fall under the restrictions of the SPD, many others will. For the SPD restrictions to have demonstrated their effectiveness for the first time so soon after their introduction is a positive step.”