• Smithdown

Council plans crackdown on HMOs in the Dales

Plans to crack down on the number of HMOs (House in Multiple Occupation) in the Dales neighbourhood of Smithdown have been revealed.

Liverpool City Council says the over concentration of shared housing is impacting on the lives of local residents with noise complaints and anti-social behaviour (ASB) incidents above the city average.

Currently, no planning application for a change of use from a house to HMO for up to six people is required as planning permission for such a change is automatically granted.

Council evidence shows that the Dales neighbourhood, bounded by Wellington Road/Gainsborough Road, Smithdown Road, and the West Coast Main railway, has a higher than average concentration of HMOs (39%) and that this is adversely impacting on local residents’ quality of life.

Between April 2015 and October 2017, there were 275 complaints to the council’s noise team; whilst between April 2014 and February 2017, there were 360 ASB incidents reported to the police.

Almost 80% of the properties on one road, Borrowdale Road, are listed as HMOs.

To combat the situation, the council wants to use an Article 4 Direction to remove permitted development rights that allow a change of use from class C3 (Dwelling House) to C4 (HMO for up to six persons) to happen without the need for planning consent.

The Direction is recommended for approval at a meeting of the council’s cabinet this Friday (24 November).

About Author: Lawrence Saunders

Lawrence is a journalist at Your Move. He can be contacted via email at lawrence@movepublishing.co.uk or by phone on 0151 709 3871.