Bournemouth Borough Council: Pure Town Planning have recently secured planning permission for the conversion of a dwelling to a 6 bedroom HMO (house in multiple occupancy) in the ward of Springbourne.

The change of use of a normal dwelling to a “Use Class C4” HMO (one with 3-6 individual residents) is usually permitted development however Bournemouth Borough Council have obtained an Article 4 Direction covering the whole borough which effectively withdraws the permitted development right. As such planning permission is required for any such change of use in the borough.

The crucial policy involved in such an application is CS24 of the Bournemouth Core Strategy. To prevent against detrimental cumulative impact from HMOs, the policy indicates that new HMOs will only be considered acceptable where no more than 10% of properties within a defined area surrounding the application site are in use as HMOs.

To ensure that the application site would fall below this threshold of 10% a pre-application enquiry was first submitted. This allowed the Council to assess whether the 10% threshold was already exceeded without the cost and risk of a formal planning application.

The pre-application response confirmed that the threshold was not exceeded so in principle the Council considered that an application would comply with policy CS24 of the Core Strategy.

With the pre-application response in hand, a planning application was submitted shortly afterwards, which the Council approved within five weeks of the application being submitted much to the delight of the applicant.

If you are exploring the possibilities of creating a new HMO development and seek assistance in steering your scheme through the planning process, then why not contact Pure Town Planning on 01202 585524, or email, for a free and confidential planning consultation.