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A direction came into force on 28 January 2013 which will enable us to control the number of properties which become Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) by requiring the submission of a planning application. The areas covered by the direction include the following:
The direction has the effect of removing the permitted change of use from C3 (single family dwelling) to C4 (house in multiple occupation). Whilst the direction will not automatically prevent the changes of use in these areas, it will enable us to control the number of properties which become HMOs.
The need to control the number of properties becoming HMOs is evident to limit the impact being felt by other residents in the areas. The main issues that have been highlighted, on a regular basis, are increased noise and disturbance, additional refuse bins etc, and parking and traffic congestion.
A copy of the plan of the areas for inclusion in this direction is available from the documents section and at the Town Hall, Harris Library and other locations in the affected areas. Please contact the Planning Department via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on (01772) 906912 for more information.
In October 2010, the government amended legislation to allow changes of use from single dwellings to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to take place without the need for planning permission. Where further control over such conversions is considered necessary, local authorities can make directions that specify an area or areas in which planning application's will be required. A high concentration of HMOs can lead to issues relating to parking, noise and disturbance and impacts on amenity which can cause concern to local communities.
The definition of an HMO is taken from the Housing Act 2004. Section 254 refers to an entire house or flat which is occupied by two or more residents who form two or more households who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. It does not include self-contained flats where none of the facilities are shared.
The definition of a single household is drawn from section 258 of the Housing Act and includes:
A house or an HMO occupied by more than 6 residents is sui generis (uses on their own, not covered by any use class) unless all the seven or more persons form a single household. Large blocks of student accommodation are therefore sui generis. A change of use to a sui generis class has always required planning permission and was not included in the permitted change of use and is therefore not included in the Article 4.
If you require help with something in this section, please contact us.