Windows at the top of a house

13 March 2020

Preston City Council are currently asking residents and other interested parties for views and feedback on a review of restricting the permitted change of use of dwellings to  houses in multiple occupation (HMO) for up to six people in certain areas of the city, without requiring planning permission.

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local authorities can make directions that specify an area or areas in which permitted development rights are withdrawn and planning permission is then required for the proposed change of use.

In February 2012, the council confirmed an Article 4(1) Direction following public consultation on the grounds that a high concentration of HMOs could lead to issues relating to parking, noise and disturbance, and impacts on amenity which can all cause concern to local communities.

Currently, the areas covered by the Article 4(1) Direction include certain properties within the wards of:

  • Ashton
  • Cadley
  • City Centre
  • Deepdale
  • Fishwick and Frenchwood
  • Plungington

Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for planning and regulation, Councillor Peter Moss, said,

"From time to time the council reviews policies to see if they are still relevant. Residents and other interested parties are then consulted to see if any changes are required.

"It may be that you think changes should be made or that you agree with the decision to keep restricting the number of houses in multiple occupation in certain areas across the city - and we need to know your views.

"I would strongly encourage the residents of Preston to engage with us and have their say on what could impact on local communities in the future."

Background information

  • 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 Article 4 HMO consultation is currently on Preston City Council's website until Monday 13 April 2020.

Preston City Council actively applies and prioritises the principles of Community Wealth Building wherever applicable and appropriate. Community Wealth Building is an approach which aims to ensure the economic system builds wealth and prosperity for everyone.