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After losing so many appeals because they rejected applications for HMO's which met the conditions in Portsmouths existing HMO SPD (Strategic Planning Document), the team at PCC are trying to rewrite the rules to give them grounds to reject more of the HMO applications which come before them.
They have particularly struggled with definitions of density, private homes sandwiched between HMO's and small HMO's being enlarged (which we have previously argued is only so popular because the current SPD outlaws most alternatives to meet a real and obvious need). Applications have been rejected on assumptions about parking chaos, piles of litter, anti-social behaviour and overcrowding. None of these claims are supported by evidence and rightly, the Planning Inspectorate has over ruled PCC on dozens of occasions in the past few years with the view that the proposed change is unlikely to have any of these affects. It would appear that PCC hope to avoid this situation in future by creating new rules which will explicitly forbid many of the developments which have got through on appeal in the past. The consultation runs through to 9th September and if this will affect you, please read on and you need to make your views known to PCC.
The text of their email to us follows:
CHANGES TO PORTSMOUTH HOUSES IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION (HMO) SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING DOCUMENT (SPD)
The Council has an adopted Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Supplementary Planning Document which details how planning policies are applied when considering planning applications for HMOs.
The Council is proposing a series of changes to the adopted HMO SPD. The main changes concern two things. First, the proposed changes aim to set out a clearer description of what the Council is seeking to achieve when it considers the amenity of occupiers of neighbouring properties. Second, the aim is to provide a clear description of how the Council will address planning applications for the expansion of existing HMOs in areas which are already imbalanced. In addition, there are a number of minor amendments to update the SPD and improve its clarity.
Full details are available on the council's website at https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/ext/development-and-planning/planning-applications/planning-houses-in-multiple-occupation . In addition, the proposed revisions, and comment forms are available at the Civic Offices, and all libraries, housing offices and community centres across the City.
The changes are published for a six week period of consultation, which will run from Monday 29 July 2019 to Monday 9 September 2019.
Planning Policy, Planning & Economic Growth, Portsmouth City Council
Civic Offices, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth PO1 2AU
The closing date for comments is 9 September 2019.
Written & oral information and advice from the Portsmouth & District Private Landlord's Association is given in good faith, but no responsibility whatsoever is accepted by the Association or it's officers for the accuracy of it's information & advice nor shall the Association be held responsible for the consequences of reliance upon such information.