Have your say on HMOs in Bedford and Kempston

Terrace Housing
Credit: Nigel Mykura

The public are invited to make their views known on the impact Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) have on their area.

HMOs can be an important source of low-cost, private-sector housing for students, those looking for less long-term accommodation, and people on lower incomes.

They can also have a significant impact on a local area, particularly when a significant number of houses are converted in one area.

Bedford Borough Council has commissioned experts to look at the impact of converting residential properties into shared houses.

The study will investigate whether the Council should strengthen planning controls for HMOs in the Borough, so that any proposals for a new HMO for up to six persons would need planning permission before the house is converted.

This would give the Council increased oversight of the conversion of properties to HMOs in our Borough, and so ensure that an individual could not convert an inappropriate residence into a shared house.

Members of the public are invited to a drop-in session at Borough Hall, on Thursday 4th July from 12pm-8pm. People can also find out more and make their views heard online at www.wyg.com/planning/consultations/bedford-hmo-study

Cllr Henry Vann, Portfolio Holder for Town Centres and Planning said: “This is a very important study to look in-depth at what is a really important aspect of people’s day-to-day lives; where they live.

“Check the website, come along to the drop-in session if you can, and take this opportunity to have your say.”

The study is expected to be completed by the end of the summer and a recommendation made to the Council’s Executive.