Having studied the supplementary planning document supplied on the BANES website (and in particular the designated high density zone map – detailing Census Output Areas or COAs) – available at http://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=577 – we have noted that the current zone does not extend as far across Oldfield Park as expected. In particular, streets such as Dartmouth Avenue, Millmead Rd, Ringwood Rd and Lymore Avenue seem to be outside the zone.
The council state that ” Changes in HMO numbers will be continually monitored and maps will be updated on a twice yearly basis (on 1st of July and 1st December each year), which will identify any changes in the HMO density in “hot-spot” areas”. However, they also state that, during any planning application for change of use, that ” the latest map on the date of validation of the application will be used for analysis”.
We know that, in anticipation of Article 4 implementation, many investors rushed to the market to beat the deadline and the number of properties purchased in the last year for conversion has been well above average. This should mean that, the next time the map is updated, the COA zone should expand but does this leave a window of opportunity for investors to buy houses on the periphery of Oldfield Park? There would, of course, need to be planning permission for change of use applied for but the council’s own papers state that they would be “minded to approve planning applications (outside the COA) unless there are other material considerations”.