Is planning required to change from 6 to 9 students HMO article 4 direction also enforce
We have a 6 bed student HMO . Which an extension was started in the loft in approx 2011 prior to an article 4 direction been brought in , so the work done was under the latest permitted development rules at that time,
We were aware if we went into the loft we would require a license HMO .We had the council round to check all ok.
The house was being used as an HMO since 2008. During this time 2008 to 2016 we have had 4 enforcement visits and no action taken we have had 7 building inspectors visit the works and recently issue a completion certificat.
We enquirer in June for a HMO LICENCE but hand the environmental health come round and give us guidance and send there requirements. T o which we finished the property in the loft and out the stairs in.
The enforcement team planning came out in August and did nothing or neither did they advise anything following a complaint to the council.
The same happened again in September And again in October stating we had connected two semis together. Which wasn't the case.
The issue now has drifted to do we need planning permision for the increase in number of student from 6 to 9.
A recent similar case elsewhere in the town was not persuaded following legal council making a statement of case.
Our argument is we started before the article 4 direction came in which was permitted development. On All occasions we said the rooms were for students.
So the query is do we need planning and if so what type.
Another site we did somthing similar i.e. 4 students to 6 but not completed yet and not an HMO needing a licence. The council have accepted we can finish extension to a 6 bed student house as it was permitted development at the time and that's without us saying it was to increase the students nos.
We think somthings wrong with the article 4 i.e. Can they enforce things if the right existed before i.e. Permitted development.
Finally the coucil have been using the words large HMO and small HMO. Without definition. They also insisted we change a planning application description to this and use their wording without saying why??
Optnion advise would be appreciated.
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