Houses in Multiple Occupation - Proposed Citywide Article 4 Direction

Closed 15 Jul 2019

Opened 3 Jun 2019


In most of Brighton & Hove, property owners wishing to convert a family house into a shared house or HMO (house in multiple occupation) for up to six people do not require planning permission.

In 2013, an Article 4 Direction was used to remove this permitted development right in the wards of:

  • Hanover and Elm Grove
  • Hollingdean and Stanmer
  • Moulsecoomb and Bevendean
  • Queen’s Park
  • St Peter’s and North Laine

This rule change means that property owners in these wards need planning permission to convert a family house (planning use class C3) into a small HMO (use class C4).

We’re now proposing to extend this across the whole city so that everyone will need planning permission when changing a family home into a small HMO.

Learn more about our justification for this proposal and the purpose and extent of the Article 4 Direction (PDF 7MB)

What is an Article 4 Direction?

Planning permission for some changes of use or minor alterations to unlisted buildings is often not required. This is called ‘Permitted Development’.

If the council believes that a specific planning problem exists, it can make an Article 4 Direction that means changes that are usually permitted development require planning permission.

What happens if the proposals are agreed?

If this proposal is agreed, planning permission will be required for a change of use from a family home to a small HMO anywhere in the city. Larger HMOs of seven or more occupants already need planning permission.

This proposal aims to:

  • make the rules consistent for everyone
  • provide long-term certainty for developers and residents
  • prevent concentrations of HMOs getting too high before action is taken

It would also bring planning regulations in line with HMO licensing which is already in place across the whole city.

Read the planning service privacy statement.

Why We Are Consulting

As part of introducing an Article 4 Direction, consultation must take place before it is confirmed.

We will consider all comments received during the consultation when deciding whether to confirm the Article 4 Direction or not.