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Planning Control

Planning approval is essentially about controlling the use of land and is normally required to alter, extend or change the use of existing properties, or to make changes to a listed building or to a property in a conservation area. Planning approval is also normally required when a previously singly occupied property is converted into bedsit units or flats.

Approval is not normally required for a property let as a shared HMO for up to six tenants on a group contract, living together as a single household and where no significant changes have been made to the property. For a group of seven or more the presumption should be made that approval will be needed and the advice of the local planning authority should be sought.

Some Councils have recently introduced Article 4 directions.  These require planning permission for houses being converted into small HMOs i.e. those occupied by between 3 to 6 unrelated persons. This allows the Council to control the number of new HMOs that are created. Article 4s are currently in operation in Bristol and Bath; please check the council website for the most up to date information.


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