A large unitary authority in the NW of England is proposing more restrictive planning rules for landlords who seek to gain permission for HMOs.

Cheshire East Council has published plans within an obscure document detailing various changes to existing planning policies as well as proposed new ones.

The council’s ‘emerging plans’, which detail how it expects to develop planning laws within its borders, says aims to further restrict HMOs.

This says: “The change of use of a dwelling to an HMO will be permitted provided that the number of existing HMOs within a 50 metre radius of an application site does not exceed 10% of all dwellings and proposals must not result in the ‘sandwiching’ of an existing single household (C3).”

Adverse impact

The proposed changes will also require that any development of a property into an HMO must not have an adverse impact upon the character and appearance of the property or the local area; on-street car parking levels; the capacity of local services/facilities and the amenity or the environment of surrounding occupiers.

Cheshire East covers a large swathe of suburban and rural England to the south of Manchester covering affluent towns such as Knutsford, Macclesfield, Congleton and Nantwich (pictured).

Faced by criticisms from local residents that many areas have too many HMOs and that many of them have been converted poorly, councils are reaching for these kinds of planning guidance rules more and more.

The highest profile decision was made by Brighton and Hove Council, which introduced similar restrictions in June last year.

Pic credit: General Views via Flickr


  1. It is clear Councils don’t want HMO.
    The vast majority of them tend to attract the let us say less desirable tenants who most people wouldn’t want to live next to.

    There is definitely a demand for HMO living.
    But Councils and most people don’t want them and who can blame them!?

    If Councils do not get their way they may tend to require the VOA assess the HMO.

    This could well result in

    Individual Council Tax Banding

    Which could well render the HMO unviable…………..so why would a LL bother risking ICTB with an HMO in a contentious area!?

    If Councils don’t want HMO then there are currently plenty of other areas a LL may risk a HMO.

    However the threat of VOA ICTB always exists for any HMO.

    One reason why have never even bothered with full conversion HMO.

    Just not worth the business risk.

    Councils clearly don’t wish to lose large family size properties to HMO conversion.

    They need these properties to house the many feckless homeless who seem to love breeding and need large properties paid for by welfare.

    LL are better off ignoring this sort of clientele unless of course they wish to deal with welfare detritus.

    Good luck to those LL that do.

    So it is no surprise that Councils are adopting anti-HMO policies.

    LL have to decide whether it is worth all the hassle getting involved in HMO in areas where they are clearly not wanted.

    I suggest NOT!!


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