Worksop Central Area - A guide for owners and occupiers

On the 3 June 2020, an Article 4(1) Direction was confirmed to withdraw permitted development rights for changing properties to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) within the Worksop Central Area. Planning Permission is required to change a house to a House in Multiple Occupation. A map of the affected area is shown below.

Worksop Central Area Article 4(1) Direction map.

What is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)?

An HMO is a property rented out by at least three people who are not from one ‘household’ (e.g. a family) but share facilities like a toilet, bathroom and kitchen.

Is planning permission required to develop a House in Multiple Occupation?

Planning permission is not required to change a dwelling house (in use class C3) to a small HMO (use class C4) of 3 – 6 unrelated residents. But planning permission is required to change a dwelling house (in use class C3) to a large HMO (Sui Generis) for more than 6 unrelated people.

The definition of different planning use classes are set out in the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended):

  • 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 as a "house in multiple occupation".

All HMOs which include more than 6 people sharing do not fall within a specific use class and are considered Sui Generis. This means they are in a class of their own.

What is an Article 4(1) Direction?

Under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 as amended, a number of minor alterations to buildings are deemed to have been given planning consent by the Secretary of State. This ‘permitted development’ allows work to be undertaken without planning permission.

This would normally include the change of a dwelling house (in use class C3) to house in multiple occupation (in use class C4). An Article 4 Direction removes these permitted development rights.

The aims of the Article 4(1) Direction are to:

  1. Protect the housing mix and number of larger properties in the affected area;
  2. Protect the character of buildings and the local environment within the affected area.

A copy of the full Direction can be viewed at:

  • Bassetlaw District Council, Queens Buildings, Potter Street, Worksop, S80 2AH
  • On this website

What would be controlled?

The Article 4(1) Direction would mean the following types of development would require Planning Permission:

  • The change of use of a dwelling house to a house in multiple occupation (Schedule 2, Part 3 – Changes of Use Class L (b) of the Order)

It would not apply to change of use from a HMO already in use class C4 to a Sui Generis HMO or the intensification or enlargement of an existing Sui Generis HMO. This is because the HMO exists and the proposal will not result in a net increase in the number of HMOs within the defined area.

Sui Generis HMOs are not affected by the Article 4(1) Direction because these types of HMO already require planning permission.

What types of houses does the Article 4(1) Direction aim to protect?

The Article 4(1) Direction is to protect the amount of larger properties in the Central Area. It is important that a good mix of properties are available so that all residents are able to live in the Central Area, close to local shops and services. The conversion of larger properties to smaller units means that there are less properties available for those people looking for a larger home, such as families, and they may choose to live in another town as a result. The change of these properties can also change the character of the area, and have a negative impact on the streetscene and residents amenity which planning should protect.

How are owners affected?

Owners or occupiers will require Planning Permission for changing a dwelling house to a House in Multiple Occupation. Failure to obtain Planning Permission for these alterations may result in enforcement action being taken by the Council. There is currently no fee for an application for works affected by the Direction, although the normal fee will still apply for works requiring Planning Permission.

Does the Article 4(1) Direction mean that existing houses in multiple occupation need planning permission?

No. The Article 4(1) Direction would only affect new proposals.

What would be required of new development covered by the Article 4(1) Direction?

Whilst an Article 4(1) Direction means that planning permission would be required for certain works ordinarily regarded as ‘permitted development’; this does not mean that such applications would be refused.

Should the Article 4(1) Direction be confirmed, when dealing with applications in the Central Area, the Council will use the following guidelines when assessing an application:

1. Percentage threshold: the percentage of HMOs within a 100m radius of the proposed development will be restricted to 10%: The 100m buffer crosses and bisects roads and also goes around street corners (see diagram below); and

 Map of properties

2. Clustering: clusters of HMOs may also have a negative impact on the amenity of existing properties e.g. for noise, parking, as a result of their location and over concentration. The Article 4 Direction will mean that clusters of HMOs are not able to form on a street. Proposals that result in three adjacent HMOs, or a C3 (a) dwelling house being flanked on both sides by HMOs would be resisted.

Map of properties

Will licences still be required for a HMO?

HMO’s that meet a prescribed description from the Secretary of State are required to have a HMO licence. A HMO is likely to be licensable if all of the following apply:

  • At least five persons live there forming more than one household
  • It is a HMO

It is an offence to own or manage a HMO that is required to be licensed without it being licensed. The licence process is separate to the planning system so the Council would expect all relevant HMOs to have a licence, where necessary.

For further information, please contact the Planning Policy on (01909) 533495, email

Last Updated on Wednesday, November 25, 2020