After months of refusing planning applications based on unreleased guidance, Cardiff Council have finally released their HMO Draft Supplementary Planning Guidance which follows the introduction of 'C4' classification in Wales. The guidance aims to restrict the number of HMO properties throughout the city, with a focus on reducing numbers of HMOs in Cathays and Plasnewydd.
The impact of the new guidelines is devastating for families in these areas. It means that there will be no, or very few, new 3+ bedroom rental properties. As a result, existing rental properties are rising in value and family homes without the option to convert are being drastically devalued. For owner-occupied homes, the real cost of the planning changes is being seen, with tens of thousands wiped off the value of properties in Cathays.
Our question for Cardiff Council is - is this fair? These homeowners may have already spent decades watching their community become overrun with students and have suffered from the noise and mess that they often bring. With very few residential purchasers looking at Cathays as an option to buy their home, home-owners in this area have relied on investors to purchase their property at a fair price. These homeowners are now facing estimated losses of around 25% - receiving the news of these drastic losses has come as a huge shock to many.
Although the guidance aims to improve quality of life for the residents of the areas, the effects of the change are unlikely to have any significant impact on reducing perceived problems that the Council states HMOs bring. With few C3 properties remaining throughout Cathays and Plasnewydd, surely the horse bolted many years ago? The main result of the council’s actions will be huge reductions in Cathays owner-occupied property prices - a huge blow for long-term residents.
Under the new guidelines, it is likely that nearly all applications for change of use in these areas will not be considered, and the £380 application fee not refunded.
With pressure from local residents and developers, we are confident that the decisions made by the Council can be overturned. If you want to discuss further how the supplementary planning guidance affects you, and how you can challenge the changing legislation, then get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 02920 668585.