CLLR WILL SANDRY AND CLLR SHAUN MCGALL - REPRESENTING OLDFIELD WARD IN THE HEART OF THE CITY OF BATH Weekly Advice Surgeries: First Saturday of the month, 11.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. In the foyer of the Co-op Scala, Shaftesbury Road, Oldfield Park. No appointments needed, just turn up and we'll try and help...

19 March 2008

HMOs and Use Class Orders

On 15 January, Iain Wright MP, Minister for Planning, gave a written answer in the House of Commons: "We propose to consult on possible amendments to the Use Classes Order in relation to HMOs later in the year." Preliminaries to this consultation are now under way. CLG says, "Communities and Local Government have commissioned a short evidence-gathering exercise, being carried out by ECOTEC consultants, which will identify good practice and determine what levers, in addition to planning policy, might be suitable in tackling [HMO] problems."

The first step is a series of telephone interviews by ECOTEC of officers in local authorities, universities and elsewhere including the National HMO Lobby (to which Downstream South and the Bath Federation of Residents Associations are affilated).

These interviews will feed into a series of focus groups in Leeds, Loughborough and Nottingham (and perhaps elsewhere), bringing together council departments, universities, landlords - and community representatives.

In turn the focus groups will inform a HMO Seminar to be held at the CLG on 9 April. A range of stakeholders have been invited to send representatives - local authorities, universities, residents groups, the National HMO Lobby, landlords, the government itself. I understand representatives from Leeds, Loughborough and Nottingham have been invited, and the Chair of the HMO Lobby.
We'll keep everyone posted on progress. We do seem to be making headway at last!

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