Croydon Council plans to issue an Article 4 Direction to protect family homes from conversion into houses of multiple occupation (HMO).
London Borough of Croydon Council writes:
Properties with multi bedrooms can be converted to HMOs that can be lived in by three and six unrelated people through permitted development rights. This means the work required does not need to go through the full planning process and be approved by the council before it can be done. The Article 4 Direction would require owners to seek planning permission for the conversion. The council plans to implement this in January 2020.
Why are we doing this?: Currently, changes of use between a dwelling house (C3) and small HMO (C4) do not require planning permission. Over the past 10 years, Croydon has lost over 900 family homes to conversion and large HMO properties. This does not include the number of family homes lost to the current permitted development right, which remains unknown due to the inability to specifically quantify the change of uses. Evidence supporting the Croydon Local Plan 2018 identified a need to protect and deliver a large proportion of family homes to meet the estimated need as part of the borough’s overall housing need.
On 18 January 2019, Croydon Council made a non-immediate, borough-wide Article 4(1) Direction that will have the effect of withdrawing the permitted development right for the change of use from a dwelling house (C3) to a small House in Multiple Occupation HMO (C4). In accordance with Schedule 3 of that Order, it is proposed the Direction will come into force on 28 January 2020, if confirmed.