Netherfield neighbours 'resigned to the fact HMOs are here' as council continues to monitor numbers

Cars parked on each side of Chandos Street
-Credit: (Image: Nottingham Post)

Residents in a Nottinghamshire town have "resigned to the fact HMOs are here" amid ongoing parking concerns. Independent Cllr for Colwick, Russell Whiting, said that the number of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in Netherfield are going up.

Cllr Whiting, who lives in Netherfield, launched the Netherfield Against HMOs campaign group, which he is not currently part of due to his position on Gedling Borough Council's planning committee, in 2022. The group campaigned for the council to review the planning rules that enable landlords and developers to turn residential properties into HMOs without planning permission.

This could be enforced through an Article 4 Direction, already introduced by Nottingham City Council and Broxtowe Borough Council, which would require HMO conversions to obtain planning approval. Residents would then get the chance to oppose to the plans during the consultation period.

Get the latest news straight to your phone by joining us on WhatsApp

Cllr Whiting said: "My main concern overall is the loss of family homes. Just on my street alone, there are now four houses that used to be three-bed family homes that are now HMOs - they'll never go back to being family homes.

"We used to have issues with parking, antisocial behaviour, and flytipping, but we've not really had that recently. We don't see the people who live there much and they don't really engage in the community.

"But then there are also people who live in family homes who don't engage either." Cllr Whiting added that the rising number of HMOs in the town could make it harder for families to move to Netherfield.

He said: "I think neighbours have just resigned to the fact that HMOs are here and there's nothing we can do about them, and that they don't give us as much trouble as some people thought they would." Parking still remains a big issue, however, according to residents.

Ashley Rushin, 42, lives on Chandos Street and says the road gets exceptionally busy around pick up and drop off times due to a school being located nearby. He said: "The parking up there is horrendous and people are constantly weaving in and out.

"I've heard of people being in near misses as well so it's dangerous. The houses around me are all family homes and we respect each other's parking, but if one of them was an HMO, that would make things difficult, it would be horrible.

"There have been times when I had to park on other nearby streets." Another resident, Silvana Tivadar, added: "Parking in the daytime is okay but it's a nightmare to find a spot in the evening.

"It's always packed after 5pm when everyone gets home from work. I've had to park on other streets many times because of it."

Heather Wheeldon, 59, agreed. She said: "Parking is terrible, it's atrocious. You just want to park in front of your house but that's not possible sometimes."

Carole Selby, 80, added: "There's cars all the way both sides of the street. Shoppers also park on our street, it's nose to tail just cars. I have no objections towards HMOs but they need to think about parking."

A spokesperson for Gedling Borough Council said the authority is monitoring the number of HMOs in Netherfield. They said: "Cabinet met on December 8, 2022, and agreed that there is currently insufficient evidence to demonstrate that an Article 4 direction or any other measure is necessary to protect local amenity or the well-being of the Netherfield Ward."