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Planning policy

Article 4 Direction for the Garden Quarter area of Chester

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) can provide an affordable type of housing for tenants looking for accommodation in an area as well as contributing to the overall mix of housing types and tenures available. High concentrations of HMOs can cause an imbalance in communities, which can sometimes have a detrimental impact on neighbourhoods.

The Garden Quarter area of Chester is one such area where high HMO numbers are affecting the balance of the community. For this reason, the Council is changing the planning rules relating to further proposed HMOs in this area. The proposed change will have the effect of requiring a planning application to be submitted when a family home (Use Class C3) is being converted into to a HMO occupied by three to six unrelated people (Use Class C4). This planning control is called an Article 4 Direction.

The introduction of an Article 4 Direction will allow the Council to assess, on a case by case basis whether applications for the creation of new HMOs are acceptable or not in planning terms. The change will not affect existing HMOs, but it will help to control the number of new HMOs created.

On 14 February 2013 the Council confirmed a non-immediate Article 4 Direction for the Garden Quarter area of Chester. The Direction was made on 3 July 2012 and subjected to a six week public consultation that ended on 31 August 2012. Responses to the public consultation were considered by the Council’s Executive on 5 December 2012. The Direction came into force on 8 July 2013 and planning permission is now required for changes of use from Use Class C3 to Use Class C4 within the Garden Quarter area of Chester. 

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