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HMO Article 4 Direction

We are proposing to withdraw permitted development rights for small HMOs.

On 30 October 2019, the Council’s Executive approved the making of a non-immediate Article 4(1) Direction for the urban areas of Bedford and Kempston.

This means we are proposing to withdraw permitted development rights for the change of use of dwelling houses in Class C3, to small houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in Class C4. A small HMO is where between three and six unrelated people share basic amenities, such as a kitchen or bathroom.

The consultation period for this proposal has now closed. The Council's Executive will consider whether or not to confirm the Direction in the Autumn (the meeting date is not yet fixed). If agreed, the Direction would come into force on 22 November 2020.

What the proposal means

If the Article 4 Direction is confirmed, from 22 November 2020 planning permission will be needed before a single-family dwelling house can be converted into a small HMO within the urban areas of Bedford and Kempston (please see the map below showing the exact boundary).

Why this change is being proposed

We want to better manage the impact of small HMOs in Bedford and Kempston.

More information about the proposal

You can download a copy of the Article 4(1) Direction, including a map defining the area and associated documents, using the link below.

You can also view the extent of the area designated by using our online mapping system. Once on the online mapping system, add the layer titled ‘Planning: Article 4 Direction C3 to C4 Use’.