Kirkley fear over rental legislation

ALMOST 50 people turned up to a public meeting in Kirkley to discuss concerns over new planning laws.

Organised by the Kirkley Residents Association, Wednesday night's meeting considered the possible impact of new legislation governing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) which, some fear, could have a significant negative impact on their community.

Barry Reid, of Waveney planning department, and Kirkley Councillors Yvonne Cherry, Gifford Baxter and Rose Hudson were all present at the meeting at the Kirkley Centre, as were representatives of Taylor Properties.

Residents' concerns centre on a change in the law that makes it possible to establish HMOs without a formal planning application.

Event organiser Terry Trelawny Gower said: 'I was very pleased with the turn-out as it shows the extent of concern of people locally. Various questions were asked and obviously there was a great deal of concern among those present.'

At next Wednesday's council meeting at the town hall, Mr Trelawny Gower has posed a question to the portfolio holder for housing and inclusive communities.

In it, he says: 'The view is that Kirkley has reached a saturation point with regard to rented accommodation, and that this legislation has the potential for further degradation of an area that is recognised as that of significant social and economic deprivation. It is also recognised as an area that has suffered the negative effects of the over development of rented accommodation.'

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He adds: 'Are members fully appraised of this legislation, and if so, what action would they consider to prevent further development of HMOs in Kirkley?'

Mr Trelawny Gower is due to meet Waveney MP Peter Aldous later this month to discuss residents' concerns.