Bournemouth Borough Council: Pure Town Planning have recently secured planning permission for  conversion of a dwelling to a 6 bedroom HMO (house in multiple occupancy) in Kinsbourne Avenue, Bournemouth. The application site is well located to neighbouring district centres of Moordown and Wallisdown, providing both retail and community facilities for residents.

Change of use of a normal dwelling to a 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 was required in this instance.

The crucial policy involved in such a proposal is CS24 of the Core Strategy. This policy was first introduced as a result of concerns that some areas of Bournemouth had a disproportionate number of HMOs – which in turn was creating a harmful impact on the character and amenity of such areas, failing to provide mixed and balanced communities.

To prevent against such detrimental impact, 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. Following the Council’s assessment of the vicinity, it was confirmed that only 1.7% of properties were in such HMO use, thereby preventing the 10% threshold being breached and complying with Policy CS24.

The Council were satisfied the proposed conversion to C4 HMO would not increase the intensity of the use to a material degree, or a level that would be harmful to the character and appearance of the area, nor would the proposal affect neighbouring amenity – subsequently approving the application.

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, for a free and confidential planning consultation.