Planning permission is required for all new Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Hatfield.

An Article 4 Direction covers the whole of Hatfield and means that planning permission is now required when owners intend to turn a dwelling house into an HMO for three to six occupants.

Large Houses in Multiple Occupation, those with more than six people sharing, already require planning permission.

The change will not result in a blanket restriction on the creation of new HMOs in Hatfield - it will, however, require planning permission to be obtained.

The council has a Houses in Multiple Occupation Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which sets out the Council's approach to planning applications for houses in multiple occupation.  There is currently no fee for a planning application required due to the Article 4 Direction.

The Direction does not affect houses in multiple occupation in existence prior to 12 January 2012.

The decision follows changes to planning legislation which introduced the new House in Multiple Occupation classification and the substantial growth and concentration in the number of HMOs in Hatfield. An HMO is a shared house or flat occupied by unrelated individuals who share basic amenities for example a bathroom or a kitchen. 

The requirements for licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation are separate from requirements for planning permission and remain unchanged by the Article 4 Direction.