A  campaign to halt the over proliferation of Houses of Multiple Occupany in Thornton Heath could see a landmark ruling for the whole borough.

Croydon council is aiming to make it harder for landlords to buy up period properties and convert them to HMOs by invoking Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning Order 1995 –  removing permitted development rights.

If successful, this means landlords can not open a HMO without first applying for planning permission.

Originally the council were looking at providing this  in specific areas of Thornton Heath with high numbers of HMOs but plan now to get a ruling for the whole borough.

The case was originally highlighted after  two large Victorian houses began to collapse on Manchester Road while the basements were being converted for use as a HMO. Permission has subsequently  been granted for just one HMO and flats. One of the houses (pictured) had to be taken down and is now a pile of rubble.

There will be consultation on a draft submission before it is presented to the Secretary of State for approval.

Council officers are collecting data on noise, litter and fly tipping complaints,  along with instances of anti-social behaviour, enforcement notices served on HMOs and the amount of family homes being lost in the borough as well as fires reported to London Fire Brigade directly relating HMO issues.