ESBC Consultation

Consultation on Removal of Permitted Development Rights from C3 (Dwelling House) to C4 (Small House of Multiple Occupation) in Burton on Trent

East Staffordshire Borough Council (ESBC) is consulting on whether to finalise new planning rules concerning small Houses of Multiple Occupation in the Burton on Trent area.

Currently it is possible to turn a residential dwelling into a small House of Multiple Occupation without planning permission. This means “a house occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.”

The council has been doing research into the effects of concentrations of small Houses of Multiple Occupation in residential streets. In East Staffordshire, Burton in Trent is the area where most of these dwellings are found.

Houses of Multiple Occupation can be useful in meeting housing need and prove to be affordable and good quality housing for many people. Nevertheless, when there are significant concentrations of these properties in the same area it can cause issues. They can change the character of a location and may result in adverse impacts. For example, difficulties with bin storage, parking and higher levels of anti-social behaviour. They also reduce the amount of larger homes (3+bedrooms) that are available for families in some streets.

As such the Council wants to be able to manage their development and consider whether change of use from a family dwelling is acceptable in each case. Requiring planning permission will help to do this. The attached notice details how this change would be undertaken in legal terms.

Planning permission is currently required and will continue to be required to turn a dwelling into a home where more than six unrelated individuals live together.

ESBC’s Cabinet agreed on the 13th of September 2021 to consult the public on requiring planning permission for changing a home into a small House of Multiple Occupation.

This consultation will run from 9am on the 8th December to 5pm on the 17th January. Details of where it can be viewed and accessed and how you can make a representation are contained on the attached notice.  Article 4 notice Burton Upon Trent

After the consultation period we will consider representations carefully and ESBC’s Council will decide whether to confirm these rules (known as a direction) in 2022. If they do agree that changes from homes to small houses of multiple occupation should require planning permission, then anyone wishing to change their home into a small house of multiple occupation will need to apply for planning permission after 12 months of that decision. A year is given before the rules come into force to help people get used to these changes, and so that the council can produce planning guidance to help with applications for this kind of development.

Please feel free to get in touch with the Planning Policy team if you would like more information about this consultation, or to make a representation. The best way to do this is to email

Yours faithfully
Philip Stephenson
Principal Planning Policy Officer
East Staffordshire Borough Council