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Halt spread of houses of multiple occupation
11:16am Tuesday 1st February 2011 in News
Sir.-In April last year, the Labour Government introduced laws to ensure that all Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) had to have planning permission.
Within six months, the Coalition Government scrapped these laws, and now HMOs which house fewer than six people do not need planning permission.
They can happen without any planning controls at all. Each HMO is a lost family home, because a HMO is simply a house shared by several people who are not a family but share facilities such as a bathroom or kitchen.
Labour councillors have been campaigning for stronger controls on the spread of HMOs in our communities.
The good news is that Labour councillors have succeeded in forcing the council to give communities the opportunity to introduce what is called an Article 4.
An Article 4 requires landlords to get planning permission for HMOs so they cannot happen without residents having the opportunity to object to them.
Labour councillors have applied for Article 4s in Norden, Popley and South Ham.
We would like to see an Article 4 that covers the whole borough, but the Tories rejected this.
We suggest you approach your councillor and ask if they have applied for an Article 4 for where you live.
–Councillor Laura James, On behalf of all Labour councillors, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.