St Andrews HMO Freeze Extended
Fife Council’s Executive Committee has agreed to continue a moratorium on new houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in central St Andrews until 2016.
The moratorium was introduced to planning policy in 2011 due to concerns expressed by some residents and local councillors about the impact of the number of HMOs in the town centre. The policy was to be reviewed in 2013, but the review was delayed to allow two separate studies to be published:
- the Centre of Housing Research on behalf of the University of St Andrews and Fife Council
- St Andrews Town Commission on Housing on behalf of local community organisations.
Following a consultation on the effect of the policy and the two reports in 2013, Fife Council’s Enterprise, Planning, and Protective Services has reported that there is still a need to carry out further research on the impact of the moratorium, including trends on wider implications on the housing market. This will also allow the Council’s planning and licensing powers over HMOs to be reviewed together.
Cllr Lesley Laird, Depute Leader and Executive Spokesperson for Business Enterprise, Economy and Planning said: “HMOs exist across Fife but there is a long history of discussion on the subject in St Andrews; given its role as a university town.
“The agreement to extend the policy control in central St Andrews will give time for the Council’s planning and housing roles to be considered together to meet our statutory duties and understand how the policy affects both the supply of homes in the town and local amenity.”