Dorset Council: Chris Miell is pleased to announce that he has secured two lawful development certificates which permit the conversion of two existing flats into two houses of multi occupation (HMOs).

The flats are located within a historic three-storey building in Dorchester town centre. The client wanted to maximise the rental income from the properties and sought Chris’s advice on the best planning strategy to utilise to convert the properties into small HMOs (Use Class C4).

Houses in multiple occupation falling under Use Class C4 are shared houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.

Chris advised the client that Schedule 2, Part 3, Class L of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) (the ‘GPDO’), permitted the conversion of small HMOs to dwellinghouses and vice versa.

Chris explained that the for the purposes of interpreting Part 3 (changes of use) of the GPDO, the term “dwellinghouse” includes buildings containing one or more flats, or a flat contained within such a building.

On that basis, Chris submitted two applications (one per each flat) which sought a lawful development certificate to confirm that the respective flats could be lawfully converted from Use Class C3 (dwellinghouses) to Use Class C4 (houses in multiple occupation).

During the application process, the Town Council lodged an objection in relation to the provision of HMO accommodation at the site, which falls within Dorchester Conservation Area. In response, Chris swiftly submitted a rebuttal to the Planning Officer and made clear that such views were irrelevant when determining the respective LDC applications. The Officer agreed and the respective applications were duly approved within one month of submission.

If you own a residential property or have a wider property portfolio, including a block flats, and would like to explore which planning strategy to utilise in order to maximise your income, why not give Pure Town Planning a call or email us for an initial consultation to see what we can do for you. We are a company that prides ourselves on our technical expertise, including an up-to-date knowledge of relevant legislation and permitted development rights, which we can utilise to benefit our clients.