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Article 4(1) direction - House of Multiple Occupation (Class C4) consultation

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Background Information

In October 2010, the Government amended legislation to allow changes of use from single dwellings (Class C3) to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) (Class C4) 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local authorities can make directions that specify an area or areas in which permitted development rights are withdrawn and planning permission will be required for the proposed change of use.

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

What areas are covered by the Article 4(1) and why?

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

These certain properties within the above wards have the following characteristics:

  • Terrace properties with narrow highways
  • Areas with minimal off parking
  • Properties with small areas for refuse/recycling storage
  • Certain larger properties

Definition of an HMO

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.

Definition of a single household

The definition of a single household is drawn from section 258 of the Housing Act and includes:

  • A single person;
  • A family all related to each other;
  • Couples married to each other or living together as husband and wife (or in an equivalent relationship in the case of persons of the same sex);
  • Half-relatives, step-relatives or foster children;
  • Any domestic staff if they are living rent-free in accommodation provided by the person for whom they are working.

Sui generis

A house or a HMO occupied by more than six 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 is therefore not included in the Article 4(1) Direction.

Making your views known

The Article 4(1) Direction relating to House of Multiple Occupation (Class C4) has been in place now since February 2012 and the Preston City Council seek to review the Direction to ascertain whether it should be extended, reduced, deleted or retained in its current format. 

This review seeks the views of local residents and stakeholders to ascertain the necessity and effectiveness of the Article 4(1) Direction, which will be taken into consideration.

You can view a copy of the following documents

You can also view the Article 4(1) Direction and area maps by visiting the Preston Town Hall

How do I comment on the consultation?

We encourage residents and stakeholders living in the areas covered by the Article 4 (1) Direction and any other interested parties to complete our online form.

Make comment on the Article 4(1) Direction

If you wish to respond to us in writing you can also do so by sending your feedback to:

Article 4(1) Direction Consultation, Planning Department, Preston City Council, Town Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 2RL.

The review of the Article 4(1) Direction take place between Tuesday 3 March 2020 to Monday 13 April 2020.

Please contact the Planning Department by emailing if you have any questions on the consultation.

Carry on receiving updates from us

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) means we need your consent to keep your email address and continue to consult with you. 

To carry on receiving updates on the Article 4(1) Direction review you will need to inform us by updating your preferences.

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