Consultation on proposals to tighten HMO rules gets underway

Published on Fri Oct 13 2023

Burnley Council has launched a six-week public consultation on proposals to tighten the planning rules around converting properties into houses of multiple occupation (HMO).

The council is considering removing what are known as permitted development rights which currently allow a single dwelling house to be changed into a small HMO without planning permission.

An HMO is a property shared by at least three people not of the same family with shared facilities such as bathroom or kitchen.

Currently a single dwelling can be converted into an HMO for between three and six people without the need for planning permission. Under the proposals put forward by the council, anyone wanting to do that would have to submit a planning application. Larger HMOs are already subject to planning permission.

If approved, the new policy would cover the following wards which have the highest number of HMOs in the borough:

  • Bank Hall
  • Brunshaw
  • Daneshouse with Stoneyholme
  • Gannow
  • Gawthorpe
  • Queensgate
  • Rosehill with Burnley Wood
  • Rosegrove with Lowerhouse
  • Trinity

Councillor John Harbour, executive member for housing and leisure, said: “I would encourage anyone with an interest in this issue to take part in this consultation. We want to hear all views to help us take an informed decision.

“The proposal to remove permitted development rights won’t prevent HMOs being created but it will give the council more control over how many there are and where.”

Have your say

The consultation will end on 24th November. The council’s preferred method for receiving consultation responses is via e-mail to

Alternatively, comments can be submitted by post to Burnley Borough Council, Economy and Growth, Town Hall, Burnley, Lancashire BB11 9SA.

More information on the proposals can be found here

A report will be taken to the council’s executive in spring 2024 to consider the comments received and decide whether to confirm the proposal.

If confirmed, the new arrangement is set to come into operation from October 2024 to allow for the legal process to be completed.

Post expires at 10:00am on Monday November 25th, 2024