Last chance to respond to possible Lincoln shared housing caps

There’s just one week left for people to have their say on proposed restrictions on the number of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in Lincoln.

As previously reported, a second public consultation began on the City of Lincoln Council’s proposed criteria on deciding HMO planning applications in September.

The Article 4 direction would mean home owners and property developers would need planning permission to convert a house into an HMO.

This would give the council more control over the amount and location of such properties. Larger HMOs already require permission.

If agreed, the direction would come into force on March 1, 2016.

The Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) for the implementation of Article 4 sets out possible caps on:

  • How many HMOs would be allowed in a particular area
  • What the radius would be for assessing the impact of HMO development
  • Whether there should be any exceptions

Interested people, groups or organisations can view the document online, where they can also take the consultation. Paper copies are available at City Hall.

The consultation will run until Friday, October 16, after which responses will be analysed and a final document put before Executive in December.

A decision will then be made regarding whether to implement the Article 4 direction.

An earlier consultation in March asked people whether they were in favour of or objected to an Article 4 direction.

Of those who took part, 133 were in favour and 130 were against the legislation.

Petitions defending and rejecting the idea of Article 4 direction have also been submitted to the council.

This further consultation gives people the chance to shape the criteria that would be used to determine planning applications for HMOs should an Article 4 be introduced.

Approximately 2,000 of the city’s 46,000 properties are HMOs.

John Latham, Director of Development and Environmental Services at the city council, said: “Members agreed to pursue the implementation of an Article 4 direction in December last year, following a petition from the West End community and a subsequent consultation exploring the options to better manage the development of HMOs in Lincoln and the impact they have on the local area.

“Officers have worked hard to produce a fair and comprehensive SPD, guided by planning law and best practice gleaned from other authorities. We would urge everyone to take this opportunity to help shape the final document.

“We are inviting general comments as well as asking specific questions and we would encourage anyone with an interest to get involved as we try to establish whether there is a robust case to implement this Article 4 in Lincoln.”

Landlords and property owners are being asked to declare existing HMOs before a decision is made on whether to confirm the Article 4 direction to improve the council’s knowledge of these properties in the city. This can be done online here.


For more information on the pros and cons of Article 4, read our column from property expert Kate Faulkner.