Protecting sustainable neighbourhoods

By on 29/11/2013 in Cllr Ali, News

Birmingham City Council is responding to local concerns to better manage the spread and growth of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the area.

The council has given notice of its intention to make a non-immediate Article 4 Direction across Selly Oak, Edgbaston and Harborne wards in the city, meaning that landlords must seek planning permission to convert family homes into HMOs. 

 The proposal would remove permitted development rights for changes of use from dwelling houses to small houses in multiple occupation in parts of Selly Oak, Edgbaston and Harborne Wards. This would mean that a planning application would be required to carry out such changes of use, providing better management and control over increasing concentration of HMO's in established residential areas.

 Cllr Tahir Ali, Birmingham City Council Cabinet Member for Development, Jobs and Skills, said: “The people who live in shared housing make a valuable contribution to our city's economy, but we need to make sure that any further growth helps protect sustainable balanced neighbourhoods for everyone to live in and enjoy. The proposed Article 4 direction will apply to that part of the city where we have the greatest pressure from this kind of housing and will allow us to assess the impact of the conversation to Multiple Occupancy on the existing community.”

 Bournbrook, a popular location close to the University of Birmingham has a high level of shared housing and there is evidence that HMOs are now spreading into the surrounding areas of Selly Park, Selly Oak, Harborne and Edgbaston. The council believes that this needs to be carefully managed.

 Consultation will now begin with all relevant groups, and will run from 29 November to 31 January 2014. The council will consider the results of the consultation and decide whether to proceed to confirm the Article 4 Direction; the earliest date this will come into force is 30 November 2014.

 The Article 4 Direction applies to the area outlined in red on the attached plan. A copy of the Direction, map and public report can be viewed at

 Alternatively, you can visit the following locations for copies and the consultation questionnaire:

– Selly Oak Library, 669 Bristol Road, Birmingham B29 6AE

– Harborne Library, High Street, Birmingham B17 9QG

– Guild of Students, Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham B152TU

 If you wish to make representations you may do so by visiting the online consultation portal at:

–, by email to:

– consultation_P& or by post to:

– FREEPOST, RSXB-ATZL-RTHU, Article 4 Direction, Planning and Regeneration - South, PO Box 28, Birmingham B1 1TU.


 For more information contact the press office on 0121 303 3367

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