Agenda item - Public Questions

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Agenda item

Public Questions

Written Questions: to receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on 2 July 2020


17.1      It was noted that one public question had been received. Mr Paul Bowes was invited to put his question which is set out below:


            Question from Paul Bowes –– HMO Planning Applications


“In view of the recognition in City Plan 2 (which builds on existing adopted policy) for the need for the development of HMOs that do not create noise disturbance and that therefore take account of acoustic considerations on neighbouring properties, please can the Council clarify what steps are being taken in respect of HMO applications to ensure that Environmental Health Officers are always consulted, to make this assessment when planning applications are being determined? Is the Environmental Health Officer routinely consulted on HMO planning applications? “


17.2      The Chair, Councillor Hill responded in the following terms:


Policy CP21 of City Plan Part One relates to HMOs and is used in the determination of planning applications to restrict new HMO development in areas of existing high concentrations. Once adopted, the City Plan Part Two will introduce additional criteria through Policy DM7 relating to concentrations of HMO. The purpose of the criteria in these policies is to maintain balanced communities and to mitigate against the negative effects on a community that can result from high concentrations of HMOs, for example more frequent noise nuisance. The policy also recognises that larger HMOs are likely to have a proportionately greater impact on surrounding occupants and neighbourhoods.  In the supporting text to the new HMO Policy DM7 there is some commentary about the need to control concentrations of HMO because they “can cause a number of negative impacts on local communities, for example more frequent noise nuisance. However, there are no specific technical criteria relating to acoustics.  


All new development in the city is required to comply with Local Plan Policy QD27 which states that planning permission will not be granted where it would cause material nuisance and loss of amenity to the proposed, existing and / or adjacent users, residents, occupiers.


If there is a history of noise complaints, case officers may discuss the case with Environmental Health, however, it is also important to be mindful of appeal decisions, where Inspectors do often take the view that a C4 HMO is similar to a house occupied by a single family dwelling house. 


For these reasons Environmental Health are not consulted as a matter of course in respect of HMO applications.”


17.3      RESOLVED – That the question and the Chair’s response to it be received and noted.

Supporting documents:


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