Article 4 is coming to Smithdown Road (updated 19/09/2018)


Updated: This article was covered some time ago in a client newsletter – you may find this useful. Article 4 Newsletter here.

While the attached PDF references Kensington and Ullet Road, the only areas to have A4 at the moment are the Dales off Smithdown.

For those that are not aware, Article 4 directions allow the local authority to exercise more power over developments.

Shared occupancy properties are classified (under planning) as C4 class use. Normal residential is C3.

Traditionally (since 2012, which was when C4 was introduced as a planning class), there was nothing needed to move from C3 to C4, as it was classed as Permitted Development.

The C4 classification was brought into law in 2012 presumably with the intention of giving local authorities greater control over development of small HMO properties.

Article 4 directions can remove permitted development rights you have.

This means you will need to get planning permission. If you are buying a property to convert to student use, you must ensure that the property has pre-existing class use as C4 and that it is thoroughly documented.

We can recommend planning consultants who can talk you through this process. You will not be able to fly under the radar – if you are planning any developments we strongly recommend engaging with the local authority first.

It is worth bearing in mind that there have been multiple Suis Generis applications for HMOs within the Smithdown area recently which have passed which might give you an indicator to your success at getting planning if doing so for a C3 to C4 move however we stress the importance of engaging a knowledgeable planning consultant – nothing can be assumed.

Local knowledge is key as is engaging a reputable agency to manage your property investment, as is getting the right planning consultant on board, one with local knowledge.

If you would like more information and would like to engage our services please contact us – we are here to help.


Published by: Simon Topple on Jul 18, 2018