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Article 4 Direction; what is it all about?
Posted by Ed on 19 February 2018
Liverpool City Council is currently considering bringing an Article 4 Direction to the Dales area of Wavertree Liverpool (L15). There are 1,800 houses within the Dales, between the main West Coast Line, Wellington Road and Gainsborough Road, with four out of every 10 houses in multiple occupation, most of them student homes.

What is an Article 4 Direction?

Article 4 Directions are a means by which a local planning authority can bring within planning control certain types of development, or changes of use, which would normally be permitted development (i.e. not require an application for planning permission).

The effect of an Article 4 Direction is that a planning application is required to be made for the change of use of a building from a dwelling house (Planning Use Class C3) to a small HMO (Planning Use Class C4) in the designated area. In other words, this particular change of use of a building is no longer permitted development.

The purpose of the Direction is to give the Council more control over the location of HMO’s in the designated area. The Article 4 Direction must be publicised for consultation and one year’s Notice must be given before it comes into effect.

Planning Use Classes

• Use Class C3 (Dwelling Houses) – These generally include self contained houses or flats occupied by a single person, a couple or a family.

• Use Class C4 (Small HMOs) – These include self contained houses and flats shared by between 3 and 6 unrelated people.

Bedsits and larger shared houses and flats, those occupied by more than 6 unrelated people, do not fall within a Planning Use Class. Planning permission is required for changes to these uses.

How does the direction affect landlords?

If a council has imposed the direction, landlords cannot open a house in multiple occupation (HMO) without first applying for planning permission. The direction does not change mandatory planning needed for an HMO for six or more tenants, only those for three to five tenants sharing kitchen or bathroom facilities in a house as more than one household.

For more information or guidance, call Haus on 0151 559 1111

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