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Resident concerned at “unchecked” growth of over-crowded houses

Education: Secondary / Thu 3rd Oct 2013 at 02:58pm

A MORLEY GROVE resident has questioned Harlow Council’s commitment to checking any increase in houses of multiple occupation in Harlow.

A number of residents across the town have expressed concerns that a number of properties are being converted so that a larger number of people can occupy them.morley

At a Harlow Council cabinet meeting, Ms Sheila Sullivan asked portfolio holder for the Environment, cllr Phil Waite.

“On 14th March 2013, the cabinet confirmed the establishment of an Article 4 Direction for Morley Grove. This direction removes permitted development rights for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). It came into effect on 1st July 2013.

Councillors at that meeting sought the same protection for the rest of the Harlow District. Since the process requires a 12 month delay for consultation, emphasis was placed upon fast progress. What progress has Harlow Council made with this initiative to date?”

Cllr Waite replied: “The Council is committed to promoting the housing standards of all HMOs in Harlow and mitigating any negative effect they might have on neighbouring residents.”

Speaking after the meeting, Ms Sullivan was not satisfied with the council’s response.

Ms Sullivan said: “Mitigating the negative effects that HMOs might have on neighbours is not the same thing as protecting neighbourhoods from the over-development of HMOs in an area.

“Most people in Harlow would rather they did not end up with an HMO next door to them, no matter how good a job the local Environment Health department made of keeping the rubbish down.

“Harlow Council carried out a review of smaller HMOs in 2011/12 and found “circumstances that would have warranted Housing Act enforcement action in over 92% of cases”.

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