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Small House of Multiple Occupation Consultation

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Confirmed New Planning Rules Concerining small Houses of Multiple Occupation in the Burton on Trent area

Removal of Permitted Development Rights from C3 (Dwelling House) to C4 (Small House of Multiple Occupation) in Burton on Trent

East Staffordshire Borough Council (ESBC) on the 31st of March 2022 has confirmed new planning rules concerning small Houses of Multiple Occupation in the Burton on Trent area.

Currently it is possible to turn a residential dwelling into a small House of Multiple Occupation without planning permission. This means “a house occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.”

From the 1st of April 2023 planning permission will be required for any such conversions or developments in the Burton area.

Please feel free to get in touch with the Planning Policy team if you would like more information about this change. The best way to do this is to email PlanningPolicy@eaststaffsbc.gov.uk(link sends e-mail).


The council has been doing research into the effects of concentrations of small Houses of Multiple Occupation in residential streets over the past few years. In East Staffordshire, Burton on Trent is the area where most of these dwellings are. Houses of Multiple Occupation can be useful in meeting housing need and prove to be affordable and good quality housing for many people. Nevertheless, when there are significant concentrations of these properties in the same area it can cause issues. They can change the character of a location and may result in adverse impacts. For example, difficulties with bin storage, parking and higher levels of anti-social behaviour. They also reduce the amount of larger homes (3+bedrooms) that are available for families in some streets. As such the Council wants to be able to manage their development and consider whether change of use from a family dwelling is acceptable in each case. Requiring planning permission will help to do this.

Consultation on this change took place between the 8th of December 2021 and the17th of January 2022. The Council carefully considered the consultation responses, which were largely supportive. Details of this meeting can be found here: Council 21st March 2022. Later in 2022, the Planning Policy team will update a supplementary planning document to give more guidance on how applications for small houses of multiple occupation in Burton will be determined, and what information should be supplied in support of such an application.

The notice and direction details how this change to remove permitted development rights has been undertaken in legal terms.

HMO Article 4 Map