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Immediate article 4 direction for small houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

An immediate article 4 direction started on 17 November 2022 to remove permitted development rights for the conversion of homes (Use Class C3) to small houses in multiple occupation (Use Class C4) in seven wards in Merton:

  • Colliers Wood
  • Cricket Green
  • Figge’s Marsh
  • Graveney
  • Lavender Fields
  • Longthornton
  • Pollards Hill

View this page for more information about wards in Merton


Immediate Article 4 Direction for small HMOs in seven wards in Merton - started 17 November 2022

Notice of Immediate Article 4 Direction for small HMOs in seven wards - 17 November 2022

Notice of confirmation of Immediate Article 4 Direction for small HMOs in seven wards -19 April 2023

We ran a consultation between November 2022 and January 2023 to gather responses in relation to the introduction of the Article 4 Direction alongside proposals to introduce new licensing schemes. 

The Council met on Wednesday 19 April 2023 to consider the consultation on the introduction of the Immediate Article 4 Direction. Having reviewed the information, the Council confirmed the Article 4 Direction, resulting in it becoming permanent, in the seven affected wards.

The Article 4 direction cannot be applied retrospectively and therefore, if your property was operating as an HMO prior to 17 November 2022, no planning application is required. However, you may be required to submit evidence of this

To find more details of the consultation, visit Proposed Landlord Licensing and the new HMO planning controls. Details of the Article 4 consultation responses alongside an update on the new landlord licensing proposals for HMOs can also be found here.

Certain types of properties will not be classed as an HMO for the purpose of the Housing Act 2004 and as such will be exempt from this Direction. To find out if you are exempt please check the HMO exemption list.

We also require HMOs to be licensed to ensure good standards for tenants. This is separate to planning permission. See Licensing of houses in multiple occupation for more information.

John Innes Merton Park and Wilton Crescent conservation areas

​For information on Article 4 directions in the John Innes Merton Park and Wilton Crescent conservation areas see Conservation Areas.

Conversion of offices to homes

Usually, you don't need to apply for planning permission to convert offices to homes but it's required in certain areas of Merton where an Article 4 direction applies. The direction was introduced following consultation and is designed to protect businesses, jobs and services in these areas.

The areas are:

If you have prior approval to change an office into a home in any of these areas before 3 April 2015, the Article 4 direction doesn't apply.

Erecting marquees during Wimbledon tennis championships

During the annual Wimbledon tennis championships, you need to obtain planning permission to erect a marquee on public and private land in the north Wimbledon area.

Map of affected areas

If you have a question about these directions, please contact us.

Telephone: 020 8545 3837
Email: future.merton@merton.gov.uk