CO-ORDINATED ADMINISTRATION OF PLANNING AND LICENSING
18. The planning system and HMO licensing are two separate regimes, with distinct functions and objectives. Local authorities are encouraged to take a co-ordinated approach to the planning and licensing of HMOs, with joint working between planning and licensing teams and other relevant departments. Information-sharing between planning and HMO licensing, in line with data protection legislation, may be useful, and local authorities should endeavour to co-ordinate HMO licensing and planning procedures.
19. Local authorities should provide information about the procedures relating to HMOs, which may help applicants avoid unnecessary delay and cost, particularly where both planning permission and HMO licensing are required. At an early stage, applicants should be provided with information about the features and requirements of both systems. As well as providing full information to applicants, planning and licensing departments should share information about applicants with each other, where appropriate. Both planning and licensing applications include an opportunity for objections to be put to the authority. Neighbours of proposed HMOs also need clear information, similar to that provided to applicants, to explain both systems and the matters relevant to each. This may help to avoid the situation where the same issues are raised in objections made in respect of both applications, and to reduce the frustration felt by objectors when their arguments are rejected as not relating to relevant considerations under the system in question.