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New student housing controls under review
A REVIEW of controversial controls on the growth of student lets in York has been launched.
City of York Council adopted new powers in April last year meaning anybody wanting to change an ordinary house into a home for more than three unrelated residents needed planning permission.
The “article four” rule prevented more than 20 per cent of homes in any neighbourhood, and ten per cent of properties on a 100-metre stretch of any street, becoming HMOs (houses in multiple occupation) to avoid “high concentrations”.
The policy was intended to address concerns about the rise in the number of student homes in parts of York, and the impact on family homes and communities.
Independent Osbaldwick councillor Mark Warters claimed yesterday that, as he had predicted, the policy had led to a big growth in the number of student lets in Osbaldwick, pushed there from traditional areas such as Hull Road.
He claimed planning applications had been considered using out-of-date data and several wrong decisions had been taken over proposals for Osbaldwick.
He also claimed the review, which had been promised in April, was several months late and was only under way because he had reminded the council of its commitment to hold one.
Martin Grainger, the council’s head of planning and environmental management, said there had always been a commitment to undertake such a review, which had been done in line with Local Plan consultation responses.
“As part of this review, we are also undertaking targeted consultation with key stakeholders including the universities, students, residents, letting agents and estate agents,” he said.
Mr Grainger said there would also be a summary of Local Plan Preferred Options consultation responses relating to HMOs.
“It is anticipated that a report will go before Cabinet later this year detailing the review, after the Local Plan consultation responses on the HMO policy approach have been collated and summarised.”
A spokeswoman said as part of the review, the council would be looking at HMO change of use planning applications, including how many had been submitted, what proportion had been approved/refused and the geographic spread of applications, which would show whether there had been a concentration of applications in any areas or a greater spread of applications for new HMOs.