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Housing: Planning

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 15 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to amend planning regulations on the conversion of family homes into bed sits. (176739)

Under existing planning regulations, the conversion of a dwelling house into bed sits may require planning permission, depending on the characteristics of the proposed domestic arrangements and whether these are deemed to result in a material change of use. The Government recognise that there may be instances where the use of dwelling houses in group occupation may have adverse impacts upon the character and amenity of existing neighbourhoods. We intend to conduct further research into the extent of this problem and possible ways of addressing it. There may be a case for amending the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 to strengthen the ability of local planning authorities to control the proliferation of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). We propose to consult on possible amendments to the Use Classes Order in relation to HMOs later in the year.