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July 27, 2008 6:26 PM

THE Area of Housing Mix policy for parts of North Heaton ward has now been introduced after a consultation by the city council.

This will make it harder for landlords to buy up and convert family homes into multi-occupancy rentals for the area between Heaton Road and Chillingham Road.

Special consideration was given to including St Gabriel's in the AHM area, following a campaign by GREG.

A very high number of consultation responses were received from St Gabriel's residents pointing out that although the area was not originally proposed for inclusion, there was growing evidence that the problem was spreading into this area from other parts of Heaton.

After legal advice it was decided that because St Gabriel's had not been formally advertised as included in the initial AHM consultation, it could not be formally added on without being subject to a separate legal consultation.

It was agreed that the AHM zone as originally advertised should proceed, and that a separate exercise will shortly be carried out to add St Gabriel's and any other area experiencing similar issues that wishes to join.

Councillor Greg Stone said: "This is a little bureaucratic but we have received assurances from the planners that this should be merely a formality and that there is agreement in principle that St Gabriel's should be included as soon as possible."