Planning Applications for HMOs

As we explain in our article on HMOs, properties in Runnymede to be used by 6 or more unrelated occupants require planning permission which means that the application must be considered by the Planning Department at RBC and that residents are given the opportunity to submit any objections. If it is referred by officers to be determined by the Planning Committee, then someone that has submitted a Letter of Representation can speak for 5 minutes about their objection at that Planning Committee Meeting.

Most local residents are already well aware of the prevalence of HMOs in Egham and Englefield Green and so an application to establish another one – so large that it needs planning permission and is almost certainly going to be rented to students of Royal Holloway – is bound to be controversial.  So, if you feel strongly about such developments then it is really important that you submit an objection to the council.  However, it’s crucial that your objection is based on planning issues and these generally relate to:

  • the character of the area
  • local amenities, including the amenities of neighbours
  • the environment and countryside
  • traffic and parking.

Objections should be submitted in time and the final date for comments is always included in the information about each application on the Planning Portal.

Current planning applications (and applications considered within the last 5 years) are published on Runnymede Borough Council’s Planning Portal which can be found here:

Objections to current applications can be submitted to the Planning Department by e-mail using the address: but, when you write, remember to include your own name and address and the reference number of the planning application that you are objecting to.  Also, if there is more than one occupant living at your address then each person can submit an objection in their own name.  Indeed, the more objections that are submitted, the more influence this is likely to have.

If you are submitting your objection by e-mail then the following template may help:

Subject: Objection to planning application <Planning application number>

I am writing to object to planning application <Planning application number> relating to the property at <address of property in the planning application>.

The reasons for my objection are:

<Reason 1>
<Reason 2>

Kind regards,

<Your name>
<Your full postal address>

Current Planning Applications

Runnymede Borough Council is currently considering an application to create a 9-bedroom HMO at 9 Firbank Place, Englefield Green under application number RU.24/0584.  This property is already being used as a registered HMO and it is believed that this has been let to students of Royal Holloway.  Full details of the plans can be downloaded from the RBC planning portal at:

Simply type ‘9 Firbank Place’ into the ‘Site Address’ field and click on the ‘Search’ button

If you want to object to this particular application then issues that you may wish to mention should relate to the character of the area, local amenities (including the amenities of neighbours), the environment and countryside, traffic and parking.  Specifically, you could include:

  • The proposal to house 9 occupants would result in an increase in activity at the site and a consequential increase in harmful noise and disturbance.  These consequences of high concentrations of HMOs have already been recognised by the council’s Planning Policy team in its work into the feasibly of introducing an Article 4 Direction on HMOs in this geographical area.  Further, such un-neighbourly development and the significant impact of harmful noise and disturbance on neighbouring amenity is contrary to Policy EE1 and EE2 (noise matters only) of the Runnymede 2030 Local Plan.
  • If so many occupants were allowed to live at this property then it is likely that several would be car owners.  Although the planning documents indicate parking for 3 cars there appears to be an error in the planning documents submitted with this application as the boundary shown on one site plan (Doc ref ‘Site Plan’) has been changed to accommodate a third car and differs from the boundary shown in the document with Doc Ref ‘LocationPlan.pdf’. In any case, the number of car owners living in the property could be considerably more than 3.  Firbank Place is a very narrow cul-de-sac with a lot of dropped kerb and more vehicles could result in obstruction of the turning space immediately outside the property, obstruction of the pavements and/or obstruction of the driveways to neighbouring properties.
  • There are already 4 licenced HMOs (including this one) in this small road and possibly further unlicensed HMOs too so the area already has a high density of HMOs.  If this application was allowed then it could set a precedent for the other HMOs to be expanded – or even new ones to be established – leading to an unacceptable over-concentration of this type of housing in this area.

Finally, please note that the deadline for objections to this application is 7th June 2024.