Article 4 Direction relating to houses in multiple occupation
What are Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?
Houses in Multiple Occupation ('HMOs') are small, shared dwelling houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom. Such residences fall under Use Class C4 in the Use Classes Order. Currently planning permission is not required from the Council to change use from C3 (a dwelling house) to C4 (HMOs) due to 'Permitted Development Rights' (i.e. changes that can be made without first obtaining planning permission).
What are Article 4 Directions?
An 'Article 4 Direction' would remove the permitted development rights of a property, or properties, and bring this change of use under the control of the Council.
Why does Tendring need an Article 4 Direction?
There is a concern that increases in small HMOs in the Tendring District, particularly in town centre locations like the centre of Clacton, could lead to social and health problems if not properly controlled. They could also detract from the tourism function of an area.
The potential benefits of introducing an Article 4 Direction to control HMOs include:
- The opportunity to coherently support and manage the delivery of mixed and balanced communities in neighbourhoods throughout the town or district;
- The ability to drive up standards of HMO accommodation in terms of appearance and function and to manage the effects of additional HMOs by the use of planning conditions;
- The ability to minimise the negative effects that could arise from high concentrations of HMOs;
- The opportunity to consider proposals for HMOs on their merits having full regard to local issues; and
- The ability to improve conditions in neighbourhoods for existing residents and enhancing the attractiveness of the area to visitors, investors and potential new residents.
Making of an Article 4 Direction
On 16 November 2011, the Council's Planning Committee resolved to make a district-wide non-immediate Direction under Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 which, when finally confirmed, will require planning permission to be obtained for all changes of use from a use class C3 dwelling house to a use class C4 House in Multiple Occupation. The following documents can be viewed on the right-hand side:
- Copy of Direction and Map showing the area affected by the Direction;
- Planning Committee Report - which sets out the need for the Article 4 Direction and background information; and
- Public Notice.
A period of public consultation was held from 20 December 2011 until 17:00 on 14 February 2012, during which time any person or organisation had the opportunity to send in comments on the proposed Article 4(1) Direction.
The Council must now carefully consider all the representations received and decide whether to confirm the Direction, or not. The Article 4 Direction, if it is confirmed, will come into force on 24th December 2012.
The changes will not apply retrospectively to properties used as HMOs before the direction comes into force, although all properties within the Article 4 Direction area will have their permitted development rights removed for the type of development specified.
It remains possible for a C4 use to be changed back to a C3 use without requiring planning permission from the Council, and this has been the case since 6 April 2010. Change of use to HMOs with more than six unrelated individuals already requires planning permission from the Council.