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New planning policy guidance for York

City of York Council

12:14pm 23rd January 2012

City of York Council is asking for residents’ views on how future decisions on key planning applications are determined.

A consultation starts today (Monday 23rd January) and asks for views on draft supplementary planning policy guidance set out in the following documents:

  • Controlling the Concentration of Houses in Multiple Occupation SPD
  • Subdivision of Dwellings SPD
  • Houses Extensions and Alterations SPD

The purpose of a Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) is to develop policies in more detail than in the council’s main development plan documents such as the Local Plan or Core Strategy.

SPDs do not have development plan status, but once adopted they are afforded significant weight as a material planning consideration in the determination of planning applications.

Members of City of York Council’s Cabinet recently agreed proposals for consultation, for deciding on future House in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) planning applications at a meeting on 10th January.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) represent a significant and growing proportion of the mix of housing in York. They make an important contribution to York’s housing offer, providing flexible and affordable accommodation for students, young professionals, and low-income groups. Whilst HMOs are regarded as a valuable asset to the city’s housing offer there has been debate about the wider impacts increasing concentrations of HMOs have, such as the loss of family and starter housing, impacts on school rolls and viability of local shops in some neighbourhoods,

It has already been agreed that the concentration of HMOs will be controlled through an Article 4 Direction which will come into force on 20 April 2012, removing permitted development rights, so that planning permission will be required in future to change a property into an HMO.

Under the proposed Supplementary Planning policy, the proportion of houses in an area or street would be assessed. If the proportion of HMOs were above an agreed threshold, planning permission for future HMOs would be recommended for refusal, to ensure that communities do not become imbalanced.

The other SPDs set detailed policy frameworks on sub-division of properties and an updated approach to property extensions.

The consultation period for the SPDs starts on Monday 23 January and ends at 5pm on Monday 5 March 2012. All responses must be received in this period.

Representations can be made online or in writing (letter or email will also be accepted).

The consultation documents are available on the council’s website at http://www.york.gov.uk/ldf/spd/ or by contacting Integrated Strategy at: intergratedstrategy@york.gov.uk or by calling 01904 551482.

Hard copies of the consultation documents will also be available to view in all libraries and the following council receptions at 9 St Leonard’s Place, the Guildhall and Library Square.

Following consideration of the representations received during the consultation period the SPDs will be finalised and presented to Members before being formally adopted.

Councillor Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for City Strategy, said:

“These are an important set of proposals which will affect our future approach to Houses in Multiple Occupation, how we maintain balanced communities, good living arrangements and the character of the streets where we live. Please take the time to look at them and send us your views and comments.”

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