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HMO planning applications

Information on HMOs (house in multiple occupation) and their planning process.

HMO concentration test

All proposals submitted for a change of use to establish a new HMO will be subject to Local Development Plan Policy H 9 which sets out a number of criteria that HMO proposals should address. The LDP is available to download via

Proposals will also be considered having regard to council adopted SPG on the subject of HMOs and purpose built student accommodation available at  

Full consideration should be given to all the relevant criteria to determine whether a proposal is acceptable. A number of the criteria set out tests that will inform the decision making process on whether the proposal would lead to a potentially harmful concentration of HMOs. These are set out below:

Test 1 - radius test

  • Within the defined HMO management area (shown on the LDP proposals map), HMO proposals should not lead to more than 25% of all residential properties within a 50 metre radius of the proposal being HMOs.
  • Outside the HMO management area, HMO proposals should not lead to more than 10% of all residential properties within a 50m radius of the proposal being HMOs.

Test 2 - small streets test

  • HMO proposals within 'small streets' that do not breach the 50m radius maximum threshold will not be supported if the proposal would create a disproportionate over concentration of HMOs within that street.

Test 3 - non-sandwiching test

  • The development would not result in a Class C3 dwelling being 'sandwiched' between adjoining HMO properties.

Before you submit a planning application you can apply for the HMO concentration test on your property. To apply for the HMO Concentration Test, at a cost of £190 per application, please contact the Strategic Planning Team on 07814 105625 or via email:

Please note that the outcome of the concentration test should not be used as confirmation as to whether a HMO proposal will or will not obtain planning permission. The purpose of the test is to establish, at the specific time the test is done, if the property passes the three concentration test elements listed above.

The results of the test can change over time, if for example new HMOs become established and/or if new information is forthcoming about the nature of properties within the area.

A planning application for change of use will also need to satisfy other policy requirements including whether the property is suitable for HMO use, has satisfactory living conditions and amenity space, and meets the required vehicle and bicycle parking standards.

Approved HMO planning applications

A full list of properties that have been given planning permission to be HMOs (houses in multiple occupation).

HMO public register

The Housing Act 2004 requires every local authority to maintain a public register of premises licensed as a HMO.

Houses in multiple occupation

A house in multiple occupation is a property rented out by at least 3 people who do not form one 'household', eg a family, but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen.
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