Council clamps down on land lords turning family homes into crowded house shares

News Desk (13 October, 2016) Housing Regeneration

New regulations have been brought in to specifically target building conversions in Surrey Docks, where half of properties had become HMOs

12548Bywater Place in Rotherhithe

Southwark Council’s Planning Committee has taken away “permitted development rights” to turn family homes into Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs), after pleas from residents.

The Article Four direction means family homes located in Bywater Place in Surrey Docks can no longer be converted into houses for between three and six people without permission.

HMOs are where at least three tenants share a toilet, kitchen and bathroom with other tenants, and are commonly used by young professionals and students.

Councillor Mark Williams, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said: “Implementing this Article Four Direction at Bywater Place will offer us a level of planning control to monitor HMOs in the area and make sure we can continue to provide this mix and maintain a vibrant community.”

Bywater Place consists of 90 properties where more than fifteen per cent were identified to be HMOs, which residents said were “changing the character of the area and causing harm”.

Surrey Docks Liberal Democrat councillor David Hubber said: “Local Liberal Democrat councillors have been pushing for this measure in Bywater Place to prevent the whole area becoming overwhelmingly multiple-occupation flats.

“I welcome the proposals, which many residents have been keen to see for a long time now.”

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