Article 4 Directions

Article 4 Directions are a means by which a local planning authority can bring within planning control certain types of development, or changes of use, which would normally be permitted development (i.e. not require an application for planning permission).

The HMO Article 4 Direction

The HMO Article 4 Direction (2MB, PDF) came into effect on 1st April 2012.  The effect of the Direction is that a planning application is required to be made to Warwick District Council for the change of use of a building from a dwelling house (Planning Use Class C3) to a small HMO (Planning Use Class C4) in Leamington Spa. In other words, this particular change of use of a building is no longer permitted development.

The purpose of the Direction is to give the Council more control over the location of shared houses and flats in Leamington Spa.

The Article 4 Direction was agreed by the Council’s Executive at their meetings of 26th January and 13th July 2011. The report to Executive of 26th January contains the study into HMOs in the District.

Scope of the Direction

The Direction applies to the whole of Leamington Spa.

Outside of these areas, a planning application for the change of use of a building from Use Class C3 to Use Class C4 is not required.

The Direction does not apply to the change of use of a building from Use Class C4 back to Use Class C3.

Planning Use Classes

  • Use Class C3 (Dwelling Houses) – These generally include self contained houses or flats occupied by a single person, a couple or a family.
  • Use Class C4 (Small HMOs) – These include self contained houses and flats shared by between 3 and 6 unrelated people.

Bedsits and larger shared houses and flats, those occupied by more than 6 unrelated people, do not fall within a Planning Use Class. Planning permission is required for changes to these uses.

Further Information

Further information is available in answers to Frequently Asked Questions.