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Article 4 Direction proposed to manage HMO conversion in South London

Words: Laura Edgar
Houses in multiple occupation / iStock: 534209784

Croydon Council plans to issue an Article 4 Direction to protect family homes from conversion into houses of multiple occupation (HMO).

Properties with multi bedrooms can be converted to HMOs that can be lived in by three and six unrelated people through permitted development rights. This means the work required does not need to go through the full planning process and be approved by the council before it can be done.

The Article 4 Direction would require owners to seek planning permission for the conversion. The council plans to implement this in January 2020.

According to the local authority, research has identified that the borough has lost hundreds of family homes to HMO conversions over the past 10 years.

A consultation will be held on the proposals until Friday 8 March.

Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and gateway services, said: “For some time we have been concerned by the rapid decline in multi-bedroom homes in the borough, particularly given the acute housing need and people’s inability to access affordable home ownership.

“It is clear it is becoming more and more important to protect family homes in Croydon. While we recognise the need for HMOs, we can already see that in some parts of the borough there are just too many HMOs in a small area for the local infrastructure to cope.

“This Article 4 Direction will enable us to ensure we have a supply of decent housing for Croydon families to live in, as well as giving our residents moving into newly converted HMOs reassurance around basic rights, such as space requirements.”

More information on the consultation can be found here on the council website.

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