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Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) Supplementary Planning Document (SPD): public consultation

Document overview

This Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) deals with how we will assess planning applications for HMOs.

The SPD is in two sections:

  • Guidance around measuring the concentration or location of HMOs
  • Guidance around the standard and energy efficiency of the accommodation provided within HMOs

Determining the concentration and location of HMOs

The new Draft SPD proposes these changes in how we will deal with planning applications for HMOs:

  • Confirmation that when a new planning application tips the concentration of HMOs within an area to 10% or more, that planning application will be refused 
  • Removal of the Census Output Area test, previously used to assess the concentration of HMOs within an area 
  • Updates to the way in which we carry out the 100m radius test, to measure how many HMOs there are within 100m of an application property
  • Provision of guidance on how to assess if 'sandwiching' is occurring in flatted developments (meaning that a residential property has an HMO on two or more sides)

Setting standards for accommodation in HMOs

The new Draft SPD includes guidance to support policy updates proposed within the Local Plan Partial Update, including the following:

  • Guidance about ensuring that HMOs achieve Energy Performance Certificate ‘C’ (including any valid exemptions from this requirement)
  • Setting minimum room size standards for personal and communal areas within HMOs
  • Advising on sound reduction measures, such as using materials and features which transmit less sound, and planning room locations to avoid communal areas which are next to bedrooms in neighbouring properties
  • Ensuring adequate ventilation