Milton Keynes Council’s HiMO appeal dismissed

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THE Court of Appeal has dismissed Milton Keynes Council’s appeal against changes to the planning system introduced by the Government last year.

In October 2010 the Government changed the law to allow a house to be converted to a small – six person or less – House in Multiple Occupation (HiMO) without needing to apply for planning permission.

Milton Keynes Council commenced a Judicial Review claim against the legislation arguing that it had been implemented without a proper consultation with local planning authorities and without bearing in mind all the impacts. Having had the claim dismissed in the High Court in April 2011 the council was granted leave to appeal.

The appeal was dismissed on December 16.

In case the legal action was not successful, the council used powers known as Article 4 Directions to remove the right to change to a HiMO.

Currently planning permission is required for a change of use from a dwelling to HIMO in the ‘city’ area and from December 23, planning permission will be required anywhere in the borough.

The council is also currently consulting on a HiMO Supplementary Planning Document to assist in the determination of planning applications for a change of use from a dwellinghouse to a house in multiple occupation.