The Southampton Federation of Residents’ Associations had a public meeting on 1st June with John Denham, MP for Southampton Itchen. The theme of the meeting was “What is destroying the character of your neighbourhood?” John Denham said that we need a stronger planning policy to maintain a proper balance of flats, houses and houses in multiple occupation(HMOs).The Council needs to have a clear statement of what it wants to achieve to reduce the risk of its planning decisions being overturned on appeal.

The S.F.R.A. is supporting the campaign for a change in the law to bring the use of a house as an HMO under planning control. Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test, has introduced a 10 Minute Rule Bill into Parliament to enable local authorities to have planning powers to regulate HMOs. I had thought that HMOs and the demolition of housing for replacement by blocks of flats was not a problem for our area until I saw what is happening to 2 Phillimore Road.

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