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Coventry Council Considers Article 4 Direction

Posted by Calum Martin

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Coventry City Council is the latest governing body to begin discussions on the introduction of an Article 4 Direction, which would limit the number of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

Planned for consultation this summer, the legislation would seek to change the rules which currently allow landlords and developers to convert single homes or residential properties into HMOs (C4 use class) without planning permission.

The Article 4 Direction, if approved, would place restrictions on property conversions in areas with a high concentration of HMOs. Planning permission would be required for change of use if implemented.

The measures being discussed are becoming increasingly common in cities with a high student population. They have already been introduced in the cities of Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham to name a few.

Article 4 Directions were first introduced under Section 4 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, with the aim to limit development within National Parks and to safeguard Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Coventry councillor David Welsh says: "We want to manage the development of HMOs and there are areas of the city where we need to have the ability to control their numbers."

He continued: "Housing developments must meet housing need in the city and that's good quality affordable homes that serve all of our residents delivering the right amount of open space including areas for play and recreation, and that have a positive impact on our neighbourhoods."