Article 4 Direction for changes of use to Houses in Multiple Occupation
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Planning controls over changes of use to small Houses in Multiple Occupation
On 5 April 2013, an article 4 direction relating to houses in multiple occupation (HMO's) comes into force in five electoral wards within Brighton and Hove. In those wards, the direction means that a planning application will be required to change the use of a single dwellinghouse (defined as C3 use in planning legislation) to a small house in multiple occupation (C4 use class). Small HMOs are properties lived in by between three and six people where facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom are shared.
You will not need to apply for planning permission for properties whose lawful use was a small HMO (class C4 use) before 5 April 2013.
Background to the article 4 direction
Small houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) provide an important and affordable type of accommodation for many city residents, including students. The council is keen to ensure the continued provision of these properties to meet the city’s housing needs, while also understanding the concerns of some residents about the impact of concentrations of HMOs in certain areas of the city. These concerns can include increased noise and refuse problems, proliferation of “To Let” boards, untidy gardens, additional parking demands and changes to local shopping areas.
The council wants to work with residents, landlords, students, colleges and universities to ensure that efforts to deal with HMO issues and provide high quality student accommodation are successful. Alongside the controls over new HMO accommodation, the council is seeking to encourage the provision of new purpose built student accommodation and has identified sites for an additional 2,200 bedspaces in the emerging City Plan. We aim to achieve sustainable, healthy and inclusive communities across Brighton & Hove.
The mapping work identified existing licensed HMOs and properties occupied by students. Maps showing the location of these existing HMOs are provided through the following links:
- Hanover and Elm Grove [PDF, 1.7mb]
- Hollingdean and Stanmer [PDF, 1.7mb]
- Moulsecoomb and Bevendean [PDF, 1.4mb]
- Queen's Park [PDF, 1.6mb]
- St Peter's and North Laine [PDF, 1.8mb]
These are the five wards in which the article 4 direction will apply.
*Houses currently in C4 use do not benefit from ‘householder permitted development rights’. Therefore planning permission is required for external extensions and alterations to such properties.
You can read a copy of the article 4 direction [PDF, 713kb] itself. This includes a map showing the area that would be covered.
There are also answers available to frequently asked questions [pdf, 47kb] about the direction.
The proposed article 4 direction was originally agreed at the Cabinet meeting on 15 March 2012. You can read a copy of the Cabinet report [PDF, 105kb]. Following the public consultation process and careful consideration of the responses received, the direction was subsequently confirmed by the council’s Policy and Resources Committee on 24 January 2013. The committee report can be found here.
Policy CP21 of the emerging Brighton and Hove City Plan Part One will address proposals for new HMOs. Policy CP21 can be found here.
If you have any other questions about the proposed article 4 direction, please contact the Planning Policy team on (01273) 292222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org