Over many years, the number of Houses in Multiple Occupation in Uplands and Brynmill has grown. HMO over-density means that we have ‘ghost streets’ and poorly managed, shabby looking HMOs, with refuse piling up outside, are bad for everyone’s quality of life, whether they live in one or near one. Uplands Labour councilors worked with councillors from other councilors and Swansea’s Labour AMs to lobby the Welsh Government to change the planning rules allowing the council more control over HMO numbers. We succeeded in this.
The next step was to introduce Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG). SPG is not a ‘law’ and it cannot ‘ban’ HMOs. Neither can it be used to control refuse or anti-social behaviour by tenants. It is a way to give more strength to the council’s planning decisions, meaning that a refusal to allow a HMO application would have more chance of withstanding the appeals made to the Planning Inspectorate in Cardiff by landlords whose HMO planning applications are unsuccessful.
Uplands Labour Councillors will continue to work with the rest of the Labour administration, to introduce an effective Supplementary Planning Guidance to give Uplands and Brynmill the protection it needs and build a cohesive, sustainable community without dividing those who live in HMOs from the rest of our community.
We will also continue to work with council officers, tenants, landlords and the community to make sure that HMOs are properly managed and that landlords stick to licensing conditions.