DRARA ACTION ON... PLANNING
DRARA regularly comments on planning applications affecting the DRARA area. These are usually applications for development within or near to the DRARA area. DRARA will also comment on applications further afield if they would or could have some impact on DRARA residents, e.g. likely to increase traffic through our area. We don’t usually comment on small-scale planning applications, e.g. for extensions to family homes.
Tom Knollys is the DRARA committee member responsible for planning and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Like the rest of East Oxford, the DRARA area has a high number of HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation), though perhaps not as many as people often imagine—though some stretches of DRARA streets certainly exceed the 20 per cent saturation threshold over which the Council will not normally allow any new HMOs to be given planning permission. DRARA does not object to HMOs in principle and acknowledges that they can provide much-needed accommodation for various sections of the population, but where they are used in concentrated numbers for student accommodation the impact on residents, including those living in HMOs, is very real and significant.
Since February 2012, houses and flats used as HMOs in Oxford have required planning permission. Houses or flats in use as HMOs before the change in the rules are deemed to have planning consent to be an HMO, as long as they have been in continuous use as an HMO since then. New HMOs need to get planning permission for change of use from a family home to an HMO. All HMOs also require a licence. There is very detailed information about planning and licensing in relation to HMOs on the City Council website: https://www.oxford.gov.uk/info/20067/planning_policy/319/houses_in_multiple_occupation.
Oxford City Council planning applications—how to make an application and an easy to use page to search for and comment on planning applications: https://www.oxford.gov.uk/info/20066/planning_applications
Oxford City Council planning policy: https://www.oxford.gov.uk/info/20067/planning_policy
DRARA also tries to be aware of and comment on licensing applications, e.g. in regard to a bar or similar venue. There is a vacancy for someone to take this on as a dedicated role and offers of help would be very welcome. Please contact us.