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Residents in Swansea Call for a Limit on HMOs

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The decision by Swansea's council to consider a 15% limit on the number of houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) for Uplands and Brynmill may result in more houses being converted whilst the new policy is considered by authorities.

Councillors on Swansea Council's planning committee two weeks ago to consider introducing a cap on the number of HMOs in the city, after concerns were raised about their influence on neighbourhoods.

Residents situated in student heavy areas have complained that student homes are having a negative impact on parking, antisocial behaviour and rubbish on the streets.

The planning guidance would provide Swansea Council more control over the development of HMOs, and the draft proposal discussed at the meeting would have limited them to 25% in certain areas, including Uplands and Brynmill.
However, residents demanded a lower figure of 15%, which the council subsequently agreed to consider.

By doing so a new report is required, which may not be ready for consultation until early next year. In the meantime, applications for HMOs, which may have been rejected had the initial guidance been adopted, may now get the green light.

Commenting on the outcome of the committee meeting, councillor Mary Sherwood, said: "People have been misled about the purpose of this SPG.

"It was never about banning HMOs, councils aren't allowed to do that, nor can it deal with the problems that HMOs bring. It was purely to help us curtail future HMO numbers, and now we can't."