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Article 4 planning and guidance

Article 4 Directions remove the right to carry out certain types of 'permitted development'. If you want to do work that is covered by an Article 4 Direction you will first need to apply for planning permission. Within the city there are two main types of Article 4 Direction:

  • 'House in Multiple Occupation'(HMO)
  • Directions restricting work to specific properties

Houses with multiple occupation

Article 4 Direction means that you need to obtain planning permission to convert a family dwelling to an HMO with between 3 and 6 unrelated people sharing in the Nottingham area. Planning permission is already required for properties shared by 7 or more unrelated people.

It is highly unlikely that you will be granted planning permission for a change of use from C3 (family) to C4 or Sui Generis (HMO) in Nottingham.

If you apply for a HMO licence and the property has changed use from C3 (family) to C4 or Sui Generis (HMO) without planning permission, you may be granted a licence for only 12 months. This period will allow you the opportunity to put the planning affairs of your property in order by applying for Change of Use permission. Again, planning permission is highly unlikely to be granted. The full HMO licence fee will be payable and is non-refundable if only a 12-month licence is granted.

If you’re granted permission or win an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, we’ll vary the HMO licence to expire in 5 years after the duly made date of the original HMO licence application. If you’re refused permission or lose your appeal, the licence will be allowed to expire and you must take steps to ensure the property does not require a HMO licence. During this time it may be necessary to apply for a Temporary Exemption Notice whilst winding down the HMO business.

If you request to vary the licence when you’ve not applied for planning permission during those 12 months, planning permission has been refused, or your appeal to the Planning Inspectorate has been unsuccessful, we’ll generally refuse to vary the licence and allow it to expire at the 12 month mark. If you apply for a HMO licence after Planning Permission has been refused already, or all avenues of appeal have been exhausted, we’ll generally refuse the application outright; a 12 month licence will not be granted. The full HMO licence fee will be payable and is non-refundable if a licence is refused.

See our guidance notes for more on HMO planning.

Most privately rented homes in Nottingham also now require a licence. Please see our HMO Licensing guidance page for more information.

Specific properties

Article 4 Directions have also been put in place on several specific properties, mostly within conservation areas.

These impose restrictions on minor building work, such as small extensions, outbuildings, and changes to windows and doors.

The details of each direction vary, and you are advised to use our Minor Works Enquiry Service if you are thinking of doing work within the area.

Areas covered by article 4:

  • Devonshire promenade
  • Foxhall road
  • Sneinton
  • Strelley village
  • Waterloo promenade
  • Wellington terrace

Other restrictions

Where planning permission is granted, and we have a concern that works done in the future may give rise to problems, we may put a condition on the planning permission.

Conditions are often imposed:

  • On properties with small gardens, to prevent extensions or outbuildings taking up too much of the open area
  • to limit the conversion of integral garages, if there is a concern that it would leave the property without adequate parking space
  • Where there is a concern that a new window in a particular wall could affect the privacy of a neighbour if put in without planning permission

Useful documents 

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