So the request for a Judicial Review was refused. Here are the reasons for refusal. The figure of hate in this is of course Grant Schapps. As HMO lobby pointed out, disempowering Local Councils does no fit with the 'Big Society' guff that came out of David Cameron. HMO lobby put it nicely in their press release
News Release, 7 September 2010
The 'Big Society' is a Big Con
The coalition government is always to keen to promote 'the big society' - except when it contradicts their libertarian ideology and enthusiasm for the unrestrained market! The last government acted to protect local communities from exploitation by the Buy-to-Let industry, supporting the Big Society. But now, in a dictatorial exercise of Big Government, announced today, the Housing Minister has re-opened these communities to further exploitation.
For decades, local communities in a wide range of situations have suffered from exploitation by irresponsible landlords, responding to a range of markets, and buying up family homes, to turn them into lucrative shared houses. Pack in the tenants, rake in the rents! They've done it in market towns (with migrant workers), they've done it in seaside towns (with benefit claimants), they've done it in university towns (with students). As transient tenants moved in, they forced out stable families - undermining any sort of society, big or small.
Organisations like the National HMO Lobby campaigned for years for action. Last summer, a huge consultation supported new legislation. At last, after a decade of damage, the last government changed the legislation on houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), so that local councils had some control at last over what was happening to their housing stock. Specifically, they amended the Use Classes Order, to do so.
But within forty days of the General Election, the new coalition government announced it was going to overturn these measures - even though their alternative was rejected by 99% of the respondents in the consultation in 2009. The Minister initiated a consultation by invitation. Even then, the Core Cities, the professionals (Planning Officers, RTPI), the Coastal Communities Alliance, MPs (All-Party Group), the Councillors Campaign for Balanced Communities - not to mention representatives of local communities up and down the country - opposed the new proposals.
All agree they are undemocratic and unworkable. But Big Government has bulldozed ahead, and dashed the aspirations of all those trying to preserve their communities. The Minister has introduced measures which revoke the amendments to the Use Classes Order
It's pretty clear what the 'Con' in 'Conservative' means.
Contact Dr Richard Tyler, C-ordinator, National HMO Lobby, 0113-275 5369
The Lobby's website is at http://hmolobby.org.uk/index.htm
And its response to the Minister's 'consultation is at http://hmolobby.org.uk/HMO%20Consultation%202010.pdf
With help from Detective Google I found an article from The Guardian. There have been links in the past between the Tories and vested interest. To quote from the article
They were two online mortgage brokers, Charcol and Edeus Creators; Douglas & Gordon, a west London estate agent; the Sapcote Group, a commercial property developer; and Goldsmith Williams, a firm of solicitors that specialises in conveyancing and remortgaging.
So instead of Local elected Representatives having their say in trying to maintain 'balanced communities', Councils are effectively powerless to stop further parasitic exploitation of some areas in University towns and cities by Landlords and Developers. There is a waiting period of 12 months before the replacement to the changes in planning, Article 4 Directions. in some circumstances Local Councils may end up paying compensation. "The effect of an Article 4 Direction is to remove permitted development rights, thereby necessitating a planning application to be made. Article 4 Directions are not issued without careful consideration, because the Council may be required to pay compensation in circumstances where you cannot obtain planning permission for development which otherwise would be treated as permitted development" (Planning Applications, at http://www.planning-applications.co.uk/article4.htm).
Local residents are disappointed that the Government has disregarded the needs of their communities. I cant see that Grants' previous financial supporters being too unhappy about this turn of events.