Planning Portal

Belfast HMO Subject Plan 2015
Part 1: Introduction

Definition

The Planning (Use Classes) Order (NI) 2004 includes Houses in Multiple Occupation as a sui generis use.  This means that a change of use to a HMO requires planning permission in all instances.
This Subject Plan applies to HMOs as defined in Article 75 of The Housing (NI) Order 1992  and repeated in Article 2(1) of The Planning (Use Classes) Order (NI) 2004.  
Paragraphs (1) and (1A) of Article 75 of the Housing (NI) Order 1992 provide:
  • “(1) . . .house in multiple occupation”  means a house occupied by more than 2 qualifying persons, being persons who are not all members of the same family.
  • (1A) In paragraph (1) “qualifying persons” means persons whose only or principal residence is the house in multiple occupation, and for that purpose a person undertaking a full time course of further or higher education who resides during term time in a house shall, during the period of that person's residence, be regarded as residing there as his only or principal residence.”
For the purposes of this Subject Plan, a HMO is an individual dwelling unit, whether a house or a flat/ apartment.  
This Subject Plan does not apply to use for any purpose set out in Class C1 of the Planning (Use Classes) Order (NI) 2004.
  • by a single person or by people living together as a family or
  • by not more than 6 residents living together as a single household where care is provided for residents.

Plan Area

The Subject Plan covers the council area of Belfast City Council.

Plan Purpose

The purpose of the Subject Plan is to inform the general public, statutory authorities, developers, and other interested bodies of the policy framework that will be used to guide planning decisions in relation to HMOs within Belfast City Council Area over the Plan period.

Plan Aim

The overall aim of the Subject Plan is to provide a planning framework for HMO Development which is in general conformity with the Regional Development Strategy (RDS) in facilitating sustainable growth and a high quality of development in the Plan area throughout the Plan period, whilst protecting and, where appropriate, enhancing the natural and man-made environment.
This section contains the following sub-catagories
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