Introduction of Article 4 Regulations in L15 on 6th April 2018
This article is a copy of the Council Meeting Notes confirming the introduction of Article 4 to specific streets in L15.
Article 4 Direction Consultation process Following the making of the Dales Article 4 Direction on 12th January 2018 the consultation period was open from 19th January 2018 to 16th February 2018. 1,840 letters with a consultation pack were hand-delivered by officers on 19th January 2018 to all residential properties within the proposed area (as identified on the map attached to the report to Cabinet in November 2017, see Appendix 1). 49 site notices were also erected and it can be confirmed that these have remained in situ throughout the consultation period. A notice was also posted in the press on 19 January 2018. Notification of the consultation period was also given to businesses along Smithdown Road between Gainsborough Road and Garmoyle Road. Letters were hand delivered to letting agents offices in the area and emailed notifications were also sent to the following landlord organisations: • RLA The Residential Landlords Association • NALS National Approved Letting Scheme • ARLA Propertymark – Association of residential letting agents • Local elected members and MP’s were also notified. The consultation process therefore complied with the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015. Summaries of the responses received are provided below. The original copies of all responses are available for members to view at the Planning Offices, 4th Floor, Cunard Building, Water Street, Liverpool.
The overwhelming majority of respondents (96%) were in support of the proposed Article 4 Direction, with most representing the resident/owner population (92%). Indeed, several respondents indicated that this action should have been taken some time ago.
Issues Raised The issues raised by those respondents who registered their support for the Article 4 Direction will be familiar to Members as those which have been raised by Councillors and local residents in the past. These are summarised as follows:
Landlords buying up properties to let out to maximum number of students • 6 is too many for a terraced property • Noise – especially in evenings / nights and linked with building works • Litter / fly-tipping / bins left in the street / rats / builders’ waste • Strain on utilities / Water pressure / facilities e.g. doctors and dentists / flooding • Privacy • Area is like a student campus – known as ‘Wavertree Student Village’ • The area is over-populated and properties are over-occupied • Parking and traffic problems, including delivery drivers stopping in the road and blocking traffic and emergency vehicles compromised • Absent landlords and students do not take responsibility for the area • It is wrong to change 3 bed houses into 6 and 7 bed HMO’s • HMO residents do not consider local residents • HMO’s can result in Anti-social behaviour (ASB) with a transient population • Not opposed to students, but numbers in each road should be limited • Properties empty in the summer • New neighbours every year is stressful • No longer family friendly area • Families not able to move into the area / asked to leave to rent put as an HMO
In addition to these well-known matters, other comments submitted during the consultation period included those summarised below.
Quality of conversions and living standards • Properties should be well maintained • Health and safety • Landlords should be / monitored. • Landlords should be responsible for fines due to the actions of their tenants • There are empty properties on Smithdown Road that should be used. • Give these premises to people with no homes • Landlords are maximising profits • Building on backyards should not be allowed • Property prices have reduced • Increase in number of houses used for short-term party lets • Landlords should have to pay Council tax / a levy towards the upkeep of the area • Use of properties as family homes will increase Council tax. • Direction should be applied retrospectively. Extend action to houses which already have 8/10 students. • Properties should be checked to see if they are HMO’s • Extensions built before planning permission is required should be demolished • No planning permission should be given for more HMO’s • Houses should not be allowed to be built up • No point in objecting to extensions when they are already built • Sefton park station should be re-introduced • Rear extensions create difficulties with waste storage and fire routes • Street cleaning should be on demand • People need help to find reasonably priced accommodation
Suggested Changes to Boundaries 29 suggestions were submitted regarding extending the boundary of the Article 4 Direction. Whilst 8 of these simply referred to the area being extended, and 1 referred to all terraced properties in the city being subject of the proposed Direction, a further 6 gave a more detailed description of the suggested extended area, which focus on the area north of the proposed Article 4 and predominantly identify the area bounded by Lawrence Rd / Earle Rd to the east, leading back to Asda store on Smithdown Road. One comment suggested that the area should be reduced to exclude the odd numbered side of Gainsborough Road as this is not in the Dales area. 3 responses suggested the boundary should include the areas of the ‘Avenues’ west of Smithdown Road.
Officers’ Response Before a planning authority can make and confirm an Article 4 Direction, it must be satisfied that it is expedient and necessary that permitted development rights should be restricted in the manner proposed to protect local amenity or the wellbeing of the area. This requires that there be adequate evidence to demonstrate firstly that there is a concentration of HMO’s in the proposed area and that the issues being experienced locally can reasonably be related to this concentration of HMO’s.
The reason for the proposed area was defined both by reference to the evidence available and by identifying an area which is locally recognised and to some extent determined by physical features and the form of development in the area, ie the western boundary being Smithdown Road, the eastern boundary as the railway line and the northern boundary as Gainsborough Road. The nature of development further north is very similar to that of the ‘Dales’ area, although both Alderson Road and Salisbury Road are characterised by more spacious double-fronted semi-detached houses. The available evidence for licensed HMO’s indicates that whilst there are HMO’s in this area and for this reason this area has been identified for a potential future Article 4 Direction. It is therefore submitted that the proposed boundary for the Dales area is retained. The area further north could be subject of a future proposal, suggested in the report to Cabinet on 24 November 2017 ie as a separate Article 4 Direction.
Recommendation: That – (i) the Council confirms the Dales Article 4 Direction, removing permitted development rights for the change of use of a dwellinghouse (use class C4) into small-scale House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), in the Dales area, to come into effect on 19TH July 2018; and (ii) the City Solicitor be authorised to endorse the Dales Article 4 Direction accordingly.
Financial Implications: As detailed in the Cabinet report on 24th November 2017, there could be a number of financial implications which are not possible to quantify at present. Should the Article 4 Direction be confirmed, permitted development rights for changes of use from C3 to C4 in the dales will be removed and planning permission will be required. This will result in an increased number of planning applications, thus impacting on time and resources. There may also be an increase in the number of appeals against any refusals of planning permission with the risk that costs may be awarded against the council if decisions made are considered to be unreasonable by the Planning Inspectorate.
If a local planning authority makes an article 4 Direction, it can be liable to pay compensation to those whose permitted development rights have been withdrawn, but only if it then subsequently: • refuses planning permission for development which could otherwise have been permitted development; or Granted planning permission subject to more limiting conditions than those attached to the permitted development rights removed by the Direction. The grounds on which compensation can be claimed are limited to abortive expenditure or other loss or damage directly attributable to the withdrawal of permitted development rights. It is unclear at this stage what the potential exposure to compensation claims is.
Impact: The impact of the Direction will be to require planning permission to be submitted for any proposed change of use from a C3 dwellinghouse to a C4 (HMO for up to 6 people). Such applications will have to be assessed against UDP policies. As the Local Plan progresses towards adoption, the weight to be attributed to the relevant Local Plan policies will become apparent.
Implementation Date: 6 April 2018
Contact Officer: Andrea Dimba, Planning Enforcement Co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a link to the map showing the roads affected:
Here is a table with all the streets in it: