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Public to have their say on new HMO planning guidance

New draft planning guidance has been developed to help determine future applications for houses in multiple occupation in Swansea.

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Swansea Council has developed the draft Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) which can be referred to when its Planning Officers and Elected Members on the Planning Committee make decisions on new HMO planning applications.

The public will now get a chance to have a say on the new guidance before it is adopted by the Council.

In February, the Council adopted its long term Local Development Plan where new policies to control the concentration levels of HMOs in Swansea were included. These approved policies state that HMO proposals should be refused planning permission if they lead to a concentration level of more than 25 % in the HMO management area (parts of Uplands and Brynmill) and more than 10% in other parts of Swansea.

David Hopkins, Cabinet Member for Delivery, said: "We have already adopted strong planning policies that exert very strict controls on further HMOs in Swansea within our recently adopted Local Development Plan.

"The latest draft supplementary guidance will help our planning officers and Councillors when they are implementing those policies, enabling us to make sure that HMOs are approved in the right communities."

The new guidance provides additional support when considering factors such as the minimum sizes expected for bedrooms and kitchens for a proposed HMO.

"It's important to recognise that HMOs are a valuable form of housing provision for individuals who are maybe not in a position to buy their own home and want to live with other individuals.

"The new guidance will ensure these type of properties are fit for purpose and provide a comfortable living experience."

The new SPG will also be used when applications for Purpose Built Student Accommodation are considered.

Cllr Hopkins added: "A number of developments are currently ongoing in the city to provide purpose built accommodation for students coming to Swansea. We are keen to see these developments continue so they can complement the existing HMO provision we have in Swansea. This guidance will help ensure they are designed and located in accordance with our planning policies"

The consultation is expected to begin at the end of September, when the public will be able to submit their comments and suggest any amendments to the draft document.

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