Planning legislation and building regulations

In addition to the Housing Act 2004, the Building Regulations 2000 (as amended) and the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 may also apply to houses in multiple occupation. 

As a general rule, HMOs with seven or more occupants require planning permission, but any changes to the HMO, such as conversions and provision of additional amenities, may be subject to planning permission, building regulations and conservation requirements.

As each HMO is individual, it is recommended you contact the appropriate department to ensure your property complies with the necessary legislation.

Article 4 Direction

On Tuesday 11 June 2019, the council's Cabinet approved the making of an Article 4 Direction affecting the St. Paul's ward under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015, as amended.This Direction will remove permitted development rights for developments involving a change of use of a dwelling (use class C3) to a House in Multiple Occupation (use class C4). This means that planning permission will be required before starting a development of this nature.

The Direction will not come into force immediately. Public consultation will be conducted until Tuesday 16 July 2019. Feedback from this will be considered by Cabinet in December in order to make a decision on whether the Direction should be confirmed or rejected. Should Cabinet choose to confirm the Direction, it will come into force on Thursday 11 June 2020.

Representations to the public consultation may be made until Tuesday 16 July 2019 by sending your representation to or in writing to:

Planning Policy
Cheltenham Borough Council
Municipal Offices
GL50 9SA

You can download a copy of the Direction, including a map defining the area covered, can be viewed or at the Municipal Offices of Cheltenham Borough Council.