DUDLEY borough residents will soon be able to comment on proposed changes to planning rules for the development of houses of multiple occupation.

At a full council meeting last year a motion was put forward asking members to consider a change to when planning permission is required for small houses of multiple occupation (HMO).

Currently, people can apply to change the use of a property to a small house of multiple occupation (with between three and six occupiers) under permitted development rights, while larger HMOs have to go through the full planning process.

By removing the permitted development rights, all applications for a HMO, of any size, would be governed by the same rules.

Members voted in favour of the motion and the council has since been gathering evidence to support the move to change planning requirements.

An update will go to a meeting of the cabinet later this week, where members will be asked to approve the proposed changes to be publicised to allow the public to comment during a six-week period.

The new rules would not come into force for 12 months if then given cabinet approval.

Councillor Simon Phipps, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: "It's clear from the evidence gathered that the unchecked creation of small HMOs using permitted development rights undermines our ability to properly plan developments in our neighbourhoods.

"Our plan will create consistency in the planning system so all HMOs must go through the scrutiny of a planning application before they are created.

"But we won't just stop at this measure, because the emerging Black Country Plan will also introduce new policies to make sure new homes are better quality and do not detract from the wider local area."

Details on how to comment on proposals will be released soon.