Public consultation on a proposal to manage the growth of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in Selly Oak, Harborne and Edgbaston


Consultation Period:

Friday 29th November 2013 to 31st January 2014.


A number of residents and organisations have raised concerns about the growth in the number of former family homes, now being occupied by groups of single people (referred to as Houses in Multiple Occupation – HMOs). If too many of these cluster together, they can put pressure on local services and the environment, thus affecting the lives of the permanent residents. 

Bournbrook, a popular location close to the University of Birmingham, is one such area, with the vast majority of its dwellings now being HMO’s. There is evidence that HMOs are now spreading into the surrounding areas of Selly Park, Selly Oak, Harborne and Edgbaston.

The Council believes that any further increase in the number of HMOs needs to be carefully managed and as such is now consulting on a proposal to introduce an Article 4 Direction to help achieve this.

The City Council will continue to monitor the conversion of family dwellings to shared accommodation and will consider issuing further Article 4 Directions should the evidence indicate that this is necessary.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is proposed?  

The council is considering the introduction of an Article 4 Area.

What is an Article 4 Area?

An Article 4 Direction removes certain ‘permitted development rights’ from property owners requiring them to apply for planning permission. If owners apply for planning permission to change the use of the property from a family dwelling to a small HMO (for example, for up to six independent people to live together), then the council has the ability to influence both how many further HMOs should be allowed and where they should be located.

For more frequently asked questions, please click here.

Please see the proposed Article 4 Direction area map outlined in red.


You can also view paper copy of  the public report, map and frequently asked questions at the following venues:

  • Selly Oak Library, 669 Bristol Road, B29 6AE
  • Harborne Library, High Street, B17 9QG
  • Guild of Students, Edgbaston Park Road, B15 2TU


A series of drop-in sessions and meetings are planned and you are welcome to come along and speak to us:

Related Documents


The City Council confirmed the Article 4 Direction and it will come into force on 30th November 2014.


The Council received 182 responses during the public consultation period. The majority are in the standard response pro forma used in the consultation questionnaire.

The pro forma asked three questions. The first asked whether respondents supported the introduction of an Article 4 Direction in the proposed area. The second question asked for comments on the proposed boundary. The third question was a more general one seeking comments or suggestions on the proposal.

Attached response schedule includes all the comments received and Council’s responses to these comments and suggestions.

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Key Dates

Consultation is Closed

Ran from 29 Nov 2013 to 31 Jan 2014

Other Information




  • All residents,
  • Councillors/MPs/MEPs,
  • Students,
  • Age All,
  • Public Sector Bodies,
  • Businesses,
  • Faith groups,
  • Community groups,
  • Voluntary Organisations


  • Democracy and Participation,
  • Education,
  • Environment,
  • Planning,
  • Regeneration,
  • Housing