This week, Stevenage Borough Council have confirmed that they are going ahead with plans to implement a borough-wide Article 4 planning restriction.
Article 4 directions restrict permitted rights either in relation to a particular area or site, or a particular type of development anywhere in the local authority’s area. When an Article 4 direction is in effect, a planning application may be require for development that would have otherwise been permitted. Where an Article 4 direction is in operation relating to Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) landlords must gain planning permission before converting what was formerly a Class 3 house (a family home) to a Class 4 home (a HMO). It is up to the local authority whether they implement an Article 4 direction, and existing shared houses are not affected.
A consultation on this scheme was held, by law, between 19th September and 21st October 2016. The RLA made an official response to this proposal, opposing the scheme, The RLA believes these measures are generally the wrong legislation to deal with social problems perceived to be related to HMOs. Article 4 directions will stop landlords renting houses to families because they risk losing the existing rights to rent it out as a shared house, not change existing uses of HMOs when the Article 4 direction becomes effective so the number of HMOs will not reduce, and limit affordable housing popular with younger people.
Our official response to Stevenage can be read here.
The direction was formally confirmed on 24th May 2017. The Article 4 direction will come into force on 20th September 2017.
If you have any questions please contact the Planning Policy team at Stevenage Council directly on: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the official Article 4 designation notice here.