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Landlords will need council approval to change Rotherhithe family homes into house shares

Landlords seeking to change a family home into a house share in Rotherhithe will now need to get approval from the council.

Southwark Council’s planning committee approved proposals to implement an Article 4 direction at Bywater Place, in Rotherhithe, at a meeting last week (February 28).

The direction means that family homes in Bywater Place, Rotherhithe, can no longer be converted into houses for between three and six people without permission.

The clampdown comes after complaints from residents about the growing numbers of houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) in the area.

“Some Bywater Place residents report that the growing use of family homes as HMOs is changing the character of the area and causing harm to residential amenity,” the planning committee agenda stated.

“This is primarily a consequence of greater pedestrian and vehicular movements leading to an increase in noise and the generation of more household waste.

“It has also been reported the properties in use as HMOs have poorly-maintained private amenity space which adversely affects visual amenity.”

An Article 4 direction can be used to remove specific permitted development rights in all or parts of a local authority’s area.

It would not restrict development altogether, but instead ensure that development requires planning permission.

Cllr Mark Williams, cabinet member for regeneration and new homes, said: “We need to make sure areas aren’t saturated with houses of multiple occupation because we want a good mix of homes for local residents, from individuals sharing a home with others, to family homes.

“Implementing this Article 4 direction at Bywater Place will offer us a level of planning control to monitor HMOs in the area and make sure we can continue to provide this mix and maintain a vibrant community.”

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