Chance to shape planning rules for multi-occupant homes in Welwyn Hatfield

PUBLISHED: 14:45 21 September 2011 | UPDATED: 14:45 21 September 2011

Welwyn Hatfield Council

Welwyn Hatfield Council

Archant

RESIDENTS’ views on how Welwyn Hatfield Council deals with planning applications for properties like student digs are being sought.

A public consultation opens today (Wednesday) on a draft document setting out the council’s proposed approach relating to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

New legislation coming into force in January means the local authority will have increased planning powers relating to HMOs.

The issue most affects Hatfield, due to the large volume of student accommodation, and a special regulation covering the university town will mean change of use planning permission would be required for houses with three to six occupants.

Large HMOs – those with more than six people sharing – already require planning permission.

The draft document being consulted on sets out criteria for determing planning applications, which includes assessing the number of HMOs in any one area, as well as car and bicycle parking, waste and recycling.

Cllr Mandy Perkins, executive member for planning and business, said: “A recent change in Government planning rules presented an opportunity to improve living standards for our residents.

“An increase in current planning powers means that we will be better able to respond to residents’ concerns while at the same time improving the quality of local accommodation.”

She added: “Welwyn Hatfield has a high concentration of HMOs which provide accommodation for professionals and students alike.

“We want residents to get involved and have a say on how we determine planning applications for such housing in the future.”

Download the consultation document online at www.welhat.gov.uk/hmo

Hard copies can also be viewed at WGC and Hatfield libraries, borough and town council offices, and at the Jim McDonald Centre in Hatfield.

The consultation runs until October 25.


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