Key announcements

Due to scheduled maintenance, our housing repairs service may be unavailable for periods from 5pm Friday 12 April to 9am Monday 15 April. To find out more about the section 114 notice, visit our section 114 page

The effect of the City-Wide Article 4 Direction

From Monday 8 June 2020 an Article 4 Direction applies across the entire city council area which removes permitted development rights for the conversion of C3 dwellings to C4 small HMOs.

This means that all such conversions will require a planning application to be submitted to the city council from this date onwards.

Further information about the city-wide Article 4 Direction

The Article 4 Direction will not affect the conversion of C3(a) dwellings to C3(b) or C3(c) or Sui Generis use. Changes of use from C3(a) to C3(b) and C3(c) remain as permitted development.

Changes of use from C3 (all categories) to a Sui Generis HMO for 7 or more persons sharing has, and will continue, to require planning permission.

Existing planning rules will apply for these conversions and the rules outlined above regarding whether the property will be occupied by a single household will apply.

In cases where the existing use of a property is recognised as C3(b) or C3(c) use and the control or management of the property subsequently changes to a private landlord, bringing it in to a C4 use, then the development may be within scope of the Article 4 Direction.

If the existing use is recognised as Sui Generis then the change of use to a C4 HMO will require planning approval under existing planning rules and irrespective of the Article 4 Direction.

In line with the national planning regulations, planning permission will only be required where any change of use is ‘material’ compared to the former or lawful use.

The city council will therefore take a pragmatic approach and consider each proposal on its own merits.

Page last updated: 23 February 2024

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