Top 6 Exciting HMO Planning Approvals from Across the UK

HMO planning can be tricky, time consuming and controversial. Many councils look at HMOs through “fertiliser tinted” glasses! We’ve seen high quality all ensuite HMO schemes in high demand areas being lambasted by local councillors who have a negative outlook on the importance of HMOs in the national housing market. So, let’s celebrate these planning successes nationally! Here are six of our favourite.


18 bedroom HMO in Telford

In Telford, an 18-bedroom House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) has recently received retrospective planning permission from Telford & Wrekin Council, despite concerns raised about potential noise pollution. Situated on Market Street in Oakengates, the property was initially a block of flats before its conversion into an HMO in April of the previous year. The floor plans reveal that the building comprises 18 en-suite bedrooms spread across the first and second floors, with four shared kitchens on the first floor. Notably, the ground-floor shop has been retained.

The application was not without its detractors. A neighbour, who is also a seasoned property investor, voiced concerns about noise, parking, and potential anti-social behaviour. Despite these objections, the council approved the application, citing that there were no planning policy grounds for refusal. The council further noted that the building could satisfactorily accommodate 19 bedrooms and that the sizes of these bedrooms met local HMO standards. While acknowledging concerns about noise and anti-social behaviour, the council stated that such issues should be reported to the property owner or the police, as they could not pre-empt the behaviour of future occupants.

This approval serves as an interesting case study in HMO planning and approvals, particularly for those interested in investing in or expanding their HMO portfolios. It highlights the complexities and considerations involved in securing planning permission for HMOs, even in the face of objections.



12 bed HMO in St Helens

Despite objections from nearby businesses, plans to transform an office space at 161 College Street, St Helens, into a residential flat and a 12-bedroom House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) with a two-storey rear extension have been approved.


Applicants Ntoni had submitted the proposal, which encountered opposition from neighbouring businesses, citing concerns that the development would negatively impact them. These objections included worries about parking issues and the potential for reduced visibility due to the proposed extension.


However, planning officers disagreed with these concerns and granted permission for the application. They found that the proposed external alterations would align with the area’s character and the host building’s architectural style. They also believed that road traffic noise would not adversely affect future occupants’ amenity, given the site’s existing arrangements and its location on a main road.


The extension’s position at the rear of the building in a recessed section was deemed not to obscure views. The impact on the amenities of neighbouring properties was also considered. Moreover, the application included off-street parking for four vehicles in an existing car park, and there was a nearby pay-and-display car park with 53 spaces at Central Street, approximately 100 meters south of the site, offering free overnight parking from 6 pm to 8 am.


In conclusion, the planning permission was granted, illustrating the complex considerations involved in HMO planning and approvals, especially when faced with objections from local businesses. This case may provide insights for property investors and HMO portfolio managers in navigating similar scenarios.


12 bed HMO in Oldham

Oldham Council has granted planning permission for the conversion of a traditional office block on 2 Barker Street into a 12-bedroom House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). The proposal, submitted by MRH Planning Services Limited on behalf of Hunter Capital Group, includes the addition of a two-storey side extension and a single-storey rear extension to the existing building. The development also involves alterations to the building’s roof to create a mansard roof with dormers.


The property, which is situated opposite Tommyfield Market and intersects with St Mary’s Way and Henshaw Street, will feature a mixed-use of offices and HMO. The office space will occupy the ground floor of the two-storey side extension and will include a reception room, main office area, kitchen, and toilet facilities. The HMO will be spread across four floors, with the basement reserved for communal areas such as a sitting/media and games room, and a utility room. The ground floor will house two bedrooms and a large open shared dining and kitchen area, while the remaining two floors will contain the other 10 bedrooms.


Despite two public objections concerning the potential for increased crime, anti-social behaviour, and the loss of needed car parking spaces, Oldham Council approved the plans in full. The approval comes with conditions, including the stipulation that the development must commence within three years and that secure cycle parking must be implemented before the building is used as an office or HMO. The office’s operational hours have also been restricted.


This case is particularly noteworthy for property investors and those managing HMO portfolios, as it highlights the council’s willingness to approve mixed-use developments and the specific conditions that may be attached to such HMO planning approvals. HMO portfolios for sale are popular at the moment, so please check out our HMO deals for sale.


8 bed HMO in Bridgewater

Despite concerns about local traffic and parking, plans to transform a residential property into an eight-person House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) have been approved by Somerset Council. The property, located at 52 North Street in Bridgwater, is not far from the Malt Shovel pub and falls within a primarily residential area. The rise in HMOs in Bridgwater has been attributed to the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, which has increased the demand for such accommodations.


The proposed HMO, like others of its kind, will offer occupants private bedrooms while sharing communal spaces like a kitchen, bathroom, and living area. While the property is within walking distance of the town centre and the Northgate Yard regeneration site, the area and its surrounding streets often face limited car parking.


Some local councillors expressed their concerns regarding the proliferation of HMOs in the area, emphasizing overdevelopment and parking issues. Councillor Brian Smedley, whose division includes the site, expressed frustration at the increase in HMOs, which he saw as a trend putting more people into smaller accommodations.


Councillor Gill Slocombe pointed out the need for one-bedroom homes and raised concerns about potential parking congestion in the area. On the other hand, Councillor Alistair Hendry argued that there was no strong legal basis for rejecting the application since it represented a change of use without altering the building’s footprint.


Councillor Bob Filmer highlighted the demand for this type of accommodation in Bridgwater and Sedgemoor, suggesting that refusing it on the grounds of overdevelopment would be challenging, given that there were no external changes to the building. After a brief discussion, the committee voted to approve the plans.


This case reflects the ongoing challenge of balancing the demand for HMOs with concerns about overdevelopment, parking, and the changing landscape of residential areas in response to local economic developments. It also underscores the importance of council decisions in shaping housing in rapidly evolving regions like Bridgwater.




17 bed HMO in Runcorn


Halton Council’s development management committee has granted approval for a controversial plan to transform the Bridge View Sports Bar on High Street in Runcorn into a 17-bedroom House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). The decision was made during a meeting at Runcorn Town Hall.


The HMO scheme will consist of en-suite rooms, with residents sharing two kitchens, a TV room, an internal bike store, and communal dining and seating areas. The applicant, London-based Penn Investments, was represented by planning agent James O Rourke, who argued that the conversion of the facility into an HMO would help address the local demand for suitable housing. He noted the growing population and increased need for affordable housing in the area.


It’s worth mentioning that Halton Council had previously expressed opposition to HMOs and had even rejected one in Widnes, although that decision was later overturned by the government planning inspectorate upon appeal. The council is currently considering seeking new powers to oppose new HMOs.


During the meeting, committee member Chris Carlin expressed discomfort with comments made by the council’s town centre regeneration team, who had objected to the plans, citing concerns over antisocial behaviour. However, Andrew Plant, divisional manager for planning and development, clarified that these comments were not relevant to planning grounds and would be addressed with the regeneration team for future reference.


The three-storey building, which currently functions as a bar and bed and breakfast accommodation, had originally proposed a 20-room HMO. After discussions with Halton council planning officers, the number was reduced to 17. This case highlights the balancing act that local authorities face in addressing housing demands and concerns over the impact of HMOs on communities.




10 bed HMO in Eastbourne


A proposal to convert a property in Ceylon Place, Eastbourne, into a 10-bedroom House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) has been approved on appeal by a planning inspector. The plans had initially been rejected by Eastbourne Borough Council due to concerns about the impact of increased occupancy on the surrounding area, particularly in terms of noise and general disturbance.


However, the planning inspector disagreed with the council’s view. The inspector noted that the existing building was already a large, seven-bedroom home situated in a high-density area. The inspector further stated that there was no evidence to suggest that the proposal would exacerbate existing issues related to noise and disturbance in the local neighbourhood. Given the nature of the accommodation in the immediate vicinity, some of which is also in HMO use or as flats, the inspector concluded that the proposal would be readily assimilated into the existing pattern of development and occupation in the area.


The approved plans for the HMO include bedrooms that exceed the minimum size requirements set out in legislation. The property will also feature two kitchens: a main one on the ground floor with access to outdoor space, and a smaller one on the second floor. During the appeal process, some amendments were made to the scheme, primarily internal changes aimed at improving fire safety and minimising noise disturbance to future occupants. We’ve created some free HMO training guides to help new investors avoid these situations, please check out our HMO training page for more details.


This case serves as an example of how planning inspectors can overturn local council decisions, particularly when there is a lack of substantive evidence to support the council’s concerns. It also highlights the complexities involved in HMO planning and approvals, especially when local authorities and planning inspectors have differing views on the potential impact of such developments.