Agenda item

Questions under Cabinet Procedure 10.7

The deadline for questions is noon on Wednesday, 2nd June 2021. 


Mr M. Hunt – Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)


“1.     With the completion of another large Hall of Residence on campus and more Purpose-Built Student Accommodation constructed or due to be completed in and around the town centre what evidence is there that more HMOs are needed in the town?

2.      How many extra HMOs, if any, does evidence suggest are needed in the town?

3.      Is there any evidence to inform the council where the new HMOs are likely to be cited?

4.      How many extra HMOs have been estimated to be generated over the next 5 years with thresholds of 20%, 10% and 5% respectively?

5.      The wards of Loughborough Ashby and Nanpantan are currently experiencing more applications than other wards because they back onto the university and are not overwhelmed yet.  Is there any evidence that the numbers of HMOs in the more saturated areas of Loughborough Storer and Southfields will 'migrate' their number of HMOs to less saturated areas?”


The following response had been published prior to the meeting:


As HMO provision is market led and a consequence of actions by individual homeowners/commercial landlords, there is no assessment of the need for this type of provision in the housing market, either locally or nationally. HMO residents are not exclusively made up of full time students, and this type of housing can provide an important provision for many different types of circumstances. The Borough housing needs survey which informs the local plan makes no assumptions in relation to HMOs and the policy in the local plan is focussed on mitigating impacts on local communities through the Article 4 direction.


Mr Hunt attended the meeting and asked the following supplementary question:


“1.     Can I assume from the reply that the Council has no evidence to support the need for HMOs?

2.      Doesn’t the Council take housing need into account when responding to planning applications for Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (ie. PBSAs which compete directly with HMOs in the local housing market)?

3.      The three-year study presented by Prof Smith & Colora, commissioned by the Borough Council, presents ward by ward figures for HMOs; coupled with the copious records of Article 4 Direction applications, doesn’t this indicate where future trends in HMO applications will go, if so can this evidence be published?

4.      I was asking if there were any estimates of extra number of HMOs that would be generated at different thresholds; doesn’t the Council have any idea what these figures may be?”


The following response to the supplementary question was given:


1.      The Council does not have evidence to support the need for HMOs. They are market led.

2.      The Council does not take into account housing need when assessing planning applications for Purpose-Built Student Accommodation.

3.      The HMO study published in December 2018 provides information on the concentration and pattern of HMOs in Loughborough. Inferences may be taken about market trends in the location of HMOs from the databases used to inform this study. However, this data cannot be published as it is considered to be exempt under FOI and EIR rules.

4.      The Council does not have estimates of the extra number of HMOs that would be generated at different thresholds. The Council already has a 20% threshold in place and the proposal in the pre-submission local plan to reduce this to 10% is unlikely to generate additional HMOs as a consequence; rather it is more likely to change the pattern/location of HMOs across the town over time.

Supporting documents: