Student Housing and HMO Update

Thanks to Liz Hobden from the council Planning Strategy & Projects Team for this update.

The council is undertaking two separate consultations relating to student housing and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

1.      Article 4 Direction for Student Housing and HMOs

A consultation is underway on a proposal to control changes of use from small houses to small houses in multiple occupation. This is known as an Article 4 direction. The purpose of the direction is to prevent over-concentration of student lets and HMOs in the five wards most affected:

  •  Moulsecoomb and Bevendean
  • Hanover and Elm Grove
  • Hollingbury and Stanmer
  • St Peters and North Laine
  • Queen’s Park

The consultation runs until 20 July and we would like to receive your views. This link will provide you with further details and access to the Consultation Portal:

2.    The City Plan

The City Plan has a new policy on student housing and houses in multiple occupation (known as HMOs). The aim is to promote new purpose built student accommodation in suitable locations and to help manage the concentration or clustering of student lets and other HMOs in established residential neighbourhoods.

New purpose built student accommodation

Five sites are identified in the Plan for new purpose built student housing. This will help encourage students to choose managed accommodation over HMOs and is particularly important for first year students. The five sites are:

  • Varley Halls, Coldean Lane, Brighton
  • Preston Barracks, Lewes Road, Brighton
  • Pelham Street, Brighton
  • Circus Street, Brighton
  • East Slope, University of Sussex

The policy also sets out clear criteria against which any other new student housing schemes will be assessed.

Controlling the concentration of HMOs

This part of the policy will work in tandem with the proposed Article 4 direction. This means that planning permission would be required for changes of use from family homes to small HMOs. At the moment these changes can take place without planning permission. Planning permission will not be granted where more than 10% of neighbouring properties are already in HMO use.

You can find out more about the City Plan and you can make comments online at:

The draft City Plan and supporting documents area also available to view at Brighton Customer Service in Bartholomew Square, Hove Customer Service Centre, Hove Town Hall, Portslade Customer Service Centre and all local libraries.

You can use the council’s consultation portal to send in your response online, or you can download a response form from the council’s website. Forms are also available from the council’s Customer Service Centres or the Library.

Completed response forms and all other comments must be received by no later than 20 July 2012.


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