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Consultation on Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) in Mount Oswald, Belmont and Carrville

We are consulting on a proposal to make Houses in Multiple Occupancy require planning permission in further parts of Durham City.

The proposed Article 4 Direction for Mount Oswald, Belmont and Carrville was subject to consultation between the 15 January 2021 and 26 February 2021. Having considered all of the comments made in response to the consultation and noting the original justification for making the Direction the Article 4 Direction has been approved. 

The relevant papers in this context, including a statement of consultation, are available at Decision details: REG 673 - Confirmation of an Article 4 Direction covering changes of Use from Class C3 to Class C4 in Mount Oswald, Carrville and Belmont Durham City (Table 3 Paragraph 24) (Part A)REG 673 - decision details.

In line with this decision, the Article 4 Direction has been formally confirmed on the 3 November 2021. 

The Article 4 Direction for Mount Oswald, Belmont and Carrville will come into force on 14 January 2022.

Icon for pdf Public notice - Planning controls over houses in multiple occupation (PDF, 119.3kb)


Some types of house development or change of use can be done without the need for planning permission and are known as 'permitted development'. Changing a family house to a small HMO (a shared house of three to six unrelated people with shared things such as kitchen or bathroom) is normally a permitted development.

Note: a change of use to a larger HMO (more than six people) needs planning permission.

An Article 4 Direction allows us remove permitted development rights for small HMOs in specified areas, and make planning permission a requirement.

County Durham currently has two Article 4 Directions for HMOs:

  • most of Durham City (in place from 17 September 2016)
  • Newton Hall, Framwellgate Moor and Pity Me (in place from 13 May 2017)

Proposal for a new Article 4 Direction

We are consulting on a further Article 4 Direction that would cover the Mount Oswald area, Belmont and Carrville. These areas have been identified because:

  • there is evidence of student households (which are generally HMOs) in these areas
  • residents have expressed concerns that concentrations of HMOs can negatively impact upon residential amenity (the quality of an area and the impact on local living conditions) and change the overall character of an area
  • the University Strategy notes a planned increase in student numbers
  • there is a continuing market demand for HMOs in Durham City

The proposed Article 4 Direction areas, if agreed, would be next to the existing Article 4 Directions, with the impact of enlarging the Article 4 Direction area in Durham City. 

Existing HMOs in the proposed Article 4 area would not be affected by the introduction of an Article 4 Direction.

Have your say

Deadline for comments was 5.00pm on 26 February 2021.

What happens next

Following the consultation, all comments made will be published on the planning consultation system and will help to decide whether or not the proposed Article 4 Direction is confirmed.

Should the Article 4 Direction be confirmed it would come into force on 14 January 2022.

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