Article 4 Direction: Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

Introduction of an ‘Article 4 Direction’ to remove permitted development rights for changes of use from dwellings to small Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) across the Borough of Trafford.

Article 4 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (GPDO) allows for a Local Planning Authority to make a direction which means that certain classes of development, which would usually be classed as ‘Permitted Development’, cannot be carried out unless permission is first granted through a planning application. The planning application will then be assessed against the relevant policies in the development plan and any supporting guidance.

An Article 4 Direction to remove permitted development rights for changes of use from dwellings (Use Class C3) to small HMOs (Use Class C4) was made by Trafford Council on the 15 December 2017.

The Article 4 Direction came into force with immediate effect on the 21 December 2017. Following confirmation by the Council on the 20 March 2018, the Article 4 Direction shall remain permanently in force across Trafford.

The Article 4 Direction is intended to mitigate the potential impacts from the arrival of the significant numbers of students attending the proposed University Academy 92 (‘UA92’), and therefore a potential rise in the number of HMOs.

It will enable the Council to better control the location and number of HMOs to minimise any potential adverse effects on the local housing market, to ensure that an overconcentration of HMOs does not result and to help ensure that the provision of student accommodation is of good quality.

An associated Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted in March 2018 and is now a material consideration in the determination of planning applications for changes of use to HMOs. Whilst this will not enable every application for an HMO to be refused, it will help to prevent the problems that can arise with an oversaturation of HMOs.