Tighter planning controls in Winnall set to control the rise in houses of multiple occupation


In order to enable the Council to exercise greater control over the creation of new houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) in the Winnall area of Winchester an Article 4 Direction will come into effect on 1 May which will remove permitted development rights which allow single family homes to be converted into HMOs without requiring full planning permission.

Whilst the overall number of HMOs in Winnall is relatively modest, there are some localised concentrations with numbers rising in the neighbourhood.The aim of tightening planning controls in this part of Winchester is to keep an appropriate balance between family housing and shared homes.

An Article 4 Direction was  introduced in the Stanmore area of Winchester in 2016 where there was already a significant number of HMOs, particularly in certain roads,and the figure was generally  increasing year on year.The restrictions have been successful in controlling the growth of HMOs in this area.

From 1 May anyone wishing to change a single family home in Winnall to an HMO will need full planning permission from the Council.This will allow the Council to properly assess the impact of proposed changes of use against the policies in the Local Plan which seek to avoid over-concentrations of HMOs in one area so that an appropriate mix of different types of residential accommodation is preserved.


Simon Finch, Winchester City Council’s Corporate Head of Service responsible for Planning, said:


“While HMOs provide an essential housing option for some residents of Winchester, the proliferation in any one area can have a significantly detrimental impact on communities. By introducing stricter planning controls we are looking to ensure that the numbers will not escalate in an uncontrolled manner and that there remains an appropriate balance of different types of accommodation in the City’s traditional family housing estates.”