Article 4 direction:
Birmingham CityCouncil is introducing a city-wide direction for houses in multipleoccupation (HMOs) from 8 June 2020.
An Article 4planning direction means that planning approval will be required forthe conversion of a family house to an HMO, including small HMOs.This means that all rental accommodation of between three and sixpeople, will now require planning approval. A present its only largerHMOs that require it in Birmigham.
The Council says itwants to be in a position to control the location and concentrationsof HMOs which can then be 'more comprehensively managed across thecity.'�
The direction is tobe supported by a proposed new planning policy set out within theDevelopment Management in Birmingham document. This change is subjectto a six-week public consultation period from 9 January 2020.
The Council saysthat an existing direction for this purpose is already in force inSelly Oak, Harborne and Edgbaston and 'has been successful inlimiting the growth of HMOs in those areas.'�
Ahead of thedirection coming into force, landlords are being advised to declareexisting HMOs to the council. Any existing HMOs declared after thatdate are likely to require a retrospective planning application or acertificate of lawful use, both of which will incur a charge. NewHMOs created after 8 June 2020 will require a planning application,the Council says.
Councillor SharonThompson, Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods, says:
'Sharedaccommodation or houses in multiple occupation provide an importantway of meeting the city'�s housing needs. However, highconcentrations of HMOs can have a negative impact on the character ofneighbourhoods and create unbalanced communities.
'This direction will enable the council to manage the growth of HMOs across the city more effectively as any new proposals will be assessed in line with planning policies.'�
Further information about the city-wide direction and the process for declaring existing HMOs can be found at www.birmingham.gov.uk/hmoarticle4
(Image shows Birmingham City Hall)