Durham Council is Getting Tough on HMOs

Posted by Ross Jones-Morris in ,

After a rocky few years of council/resident relations when it comes to student housing in Durham, councillors in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday have decided to crack down on plans for new student accommodation in the city.

Residents have been complaining over the last few years about the council being too lenient when it comes to new developments. Meanwhile students have also been voicing their concerns over rising accommodation costs.

The councils new policy will be to make developers show that their HMO application will have no negative impact on the local community. The decision comes after a new report has show that new developments may soon be in short supply as there are currently 4,000 new beds under construction, yet projections show that only 300 more students will be studying in Durham come 2020.

The council while cracking down on developers made sure to signal that their attitude to students is as positive as ever. Concillor Eddie Tomlinson has said of the new council outlook, “It will enable us to control the number of houses of multiple occupancy in that new area.”

The report that finally spurred on the council to change its attitude also maintained that “Durham University is a major asset to the city”, but made sure to point out that empty HMOs have an “adverse impact on the amenity of residents and local businesses”. For better or worse, it looks like from now on the council will be looking to keep numbers in check.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons