Restrictions on new shared houses across Brighton and Hove have been given the go ahead.
Members of the Brighton and Hove City Council’s tourism, development and culture committee unanimously agreed to introduce an ‘Article 4’ restriction on houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) across the entire city.
Six years ago, in January 2013, the first restrictions were brought in to prevent home owners from using ‘permitted development rights’ to turn their properties into shared houses without planning permission.
The rule change currently affects five wards – Moulsecoomb and Bevendean, Hollingdean and Stanmer, Hanover and Elm Grove, Queen’s Park and St Peter’s and North Laine.
Now home owners across Brighton and Hove will not be allowed to turn their property into a shared house when more than 10 per cent of homes within a 50-metre radius are already classed as an HMO.
Concern has grown at the increasing numbers of shared homes in the East Brighton, Preston Park and Withdean wards.
Former planning committee chair Phélim Mac Cafferty, a Green councillor, asked if the government might oppose the change, as he recalled in 2013, how councillors had wanted to put forward city-wide restrictions.
In response, council officer Steve Tremlett said that there should be no issues with ministers as there were now significantly more shared houses in the city.
There are also city-wide restrictions in Southampton, Portsmouth and Manchester – all university cities like Brighton and Hove.
Current planning committee chair, Labour councillor Julie Cattell, who represents Preston Park ward, said that she was really pleased to see the restricted area widened.
She said: “I know there will be some very delighted people in my ward.
“We have the darkest brown coloured section in the map (of HMO density) due to overspill from St Peter’s and North Laine ward.”