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Decision details

Confirmation of the Immediate Article 4 Direction in 7 Wards - Results of Consultation and Update on Proposed Introduction of Landlord Licensing and Empty Homes Project'

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To report the initial findings of the consultation exercise on the introduction of an Article 4 Direction for 7 wards in the Borough, prior to a report being submitted to Council, and to provide an update on the introduction of Selective and Additional Licensing with a further report on the outcome of the consultation on licensing being reported to Cabinet in June.




A. Following review of the consultation responses as well as consideration of legal advice from an external barrister, that Cabinet agreed to recommend to Council that the Immediate Article 4 Direction for small HMOs be Confirmed for the following wards: Figge’s Marsh; Graveney; Longthornton; Pollards Hill; Colliers Wood; Cricket Green and Lavender Fields.

B. Cabinet noted that there is an ongoing risk of compensation claims being submitted for any small HMOs (6 person and under) that relied on the permitted development rights that have been removed in the 7 wards, and note that claims are only valid if a planning application is submitted within 12 months from the introduction of the Immediate Article 4 (17th November 2022) and then subsequently refused; or if additional Planning Conditions are applied that reduce the development’s value

C. Cabinet noted the update on Landlord Licensing and Empty Homes, including the proposed charges and conditions appended, and note that once the full consultation report has been provided to the Council by ORS, a further report will be brought back to Cabinet in June to agree the way forward for Landlord Licensing, following consideration of representations received.

D. Cabinet agreed that the additional cost of £75,000 for project management, housing staffing; and external legal fees up to Oct 23 (date of implementation) be funded by a transfer from the corporate contingency fund.

E. Cabinet delegated Authority to the Executive Director for Housing and Sustainable Development in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing and Sustainable Development to Approve the draft Supplementary Planning Document on HMOs for at least 6 weeks of public consultation and to approve any amendments required by proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework.

Report author: Amy Dumitrescu

Publication date: 22/03/2023

Date of decision: 20/03/2023

Decided at meeting: 20/03/2023 - Cabinet

Effective from: 28/03/2023

Accompanying Documents: