Planning Permission in Newham Borough

Planning Permission in Newham Borough

8:02 AM, 10th June 2016, About 7 years ago 4

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I am looking to get a HMO licence for a property in Newham borough.Newham

The house is a three stories high with 4 doubles (1 en-suited loft), 2 singles, reception room, large kitchen and 2 complete shower rooms. Therefore a mandatory licence.

Emailed the council’s planing department for more info and got the following answer:

“The article 4 direction means that you would need to apply for planning permission for a Change of Use from C3 to C4. You should note that the Council will seeks to protect family housing and resists the loss of all family dwelling houses through conversions to HMOs unless exceptional circumstances prevail.”

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but legally speaking they need to grant the licence if I fulfill all requirements or either specify justifiable issues for not granting, in which case I could just do what it takes to ‘fix’ such issues and eventually get the licence.

At any rate I’m thinking of hiring the help of a planning specialist, but first and foremost I must make sure I can get the licence and quickly to close the deal with the landlord.

Has anyone had first hand experience in Newham or knows a planning specialist that has?

Many thanks


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Alan Littlefield

9:16 AM, 10th June 2016, About 7 years ago

If the council are set against conversion to HMO they can make it non-viable financially by requiring so much extra work to be done as part of the approval. See this from 2012:

"The bottom line is that Northamptonshire Council is helpful and apart from one application none has been rejected so far and that was down to neighbours not being happy. The planners themselves hope the LL is going to appeal. Interesting isn't it?

Milton Keynes council has a completely different attitude and try to make it nearly impossible to get the permission. I looked at some applications. One was approved but the LL was asked to sound proof the walls of a terraced house towards both sides and all floors too. That costs and arm and a leg and financially not viable. It's one way to put LL off."


8:53 AM, 11th June 2016, About 7 years ago

I am an accredited landlord. As an ex resident of Newham I sold my property when I moved, (1 bed modern flat), rather than rent it out. Very hostile to landlords this bunch. Look elsewhere.

Richard Blanco

15:29 PM, 11th June 2016, About 7 years ago

Hi Marcos

Remember licensing is 2004 Housing Act legislation and Article 4 directions are to do with planning (not housing regulations). I have put your question to Newham in the past. You will need to apply for whatever license reflects the current or proposed use of the property. An additional HMO license is granted fairly straightforwardly but a mandatory HMO license application is obviously more involved. Once the license is granted you will be referred to planning enforcement. It is planning policy to refuse all HMO applications and planning enforcement argue that this position has been upheld by inspectors in a number of appeals. You will then have to apply (and pay for) a selective license and let the property to a family. The situation in Newham is unworkable, many landlords are struggling to find suitable families to let their properties to. Planning enforcement told me they receive 45 complaints a week about the policy. I continue to campaign to get the Article 4 in Newham amended. Planning policy is under review this year and a new plan will be adopted next year. There's more info on my blog:

Marcos Monzo

14:40 PM, 21st June 2016, About 7 years ago

Thanks all for the replies. Same feedback from other groups, including the planning department themselves.

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