Consultation on a Non-immediate Article 4 Direction for Houses in Multiple Occupation

The Council is proposing to withdraw permitted development rights that allow houses to convert to small houses in multiple occupation (HMO) without planning permission. This will take place through an ‘Article 4 Direction’ and cover the whole of the borough. The effect of the Article 4 Direction is that proposals to convert existing dwellings to HMOs, regardless of their size, would require planning permission. 

The type of Article 4 Direction being proposed is a ‘non-immediate’ one. This means it will not come into force for 12-months. The non-immediate Article 4 Direction was “made” on 22 February 2024, following agreement at the Housing, Economy and Business Committee in November 2023 to proceed with the work.

Have your Say

The Council is now inviting representations on the Non-immediate Article 4 Direction proposals from 22 February 2024 to 21 March 2024. The consultation material is available below. Alternatively, hard copies can be viewed at the Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA between the hours of 9pm and 5pm on Monday to Friday.

At the end of the representation period, and after reviewing comments made by stakeholders, the Council will decide whether the Article 4 Direction is to be confirmed. If confirmed, the Direction will come into force on the 22nd February 2025. 

Representations will be made concerning this Article 4(1) Direction to the local planning authority by emailing or alternatively by writing to Planning Policy, Sutton Civic Centre, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA. The representation must arrive by 5pm 21 March 2024. Please note that the consultation responses will be published, excluding any personal information.   

Privacy Notice

Any responses received by the Council to the consultation will be held electronically for the purposes of meeting the Council's duties arising from reporting responses. Consultation responses will be kept for two years.  

If you wish to have your details removed from the planning policy consultation list at any time please contact By remaining on the consultation list you consent to the council holding your name, contact details and, where relevant, organisation name in order to be contacted solely for future consultations on planning policy and related matters. Your details are held electronically and will not be passed on to any third parties for marketing purposes. The council’s privacy policy.


The council has three Article 4 Directions in place.

Sutton Town Centre Article 4 Direction

The Sutton Town Centre Article 4 Direction withdraws the permitted development right for offices (B1a) to convert to residential uses (C3). Therefore, a planning application will be required offices to convert to residential uses. The Article 4 Direction was confirmed in 2014.

Sutton Garden Suburb Article 4 Direction

The Sutton Garden Suburb Article 4 Direction withdraws permitted development rights for certain alterations and additions to certain houses and their curtilages in the roads of Meadow Close, Woodend, Hawthorne Close, Horse Shoe Green, Oaks Close and Greenhill. Therefore, a planning application will usually be required for works on the named houses and curtilages. The Article 4 Direction was confirmed in 2007.

Withdrawal of Rights to Alter Roofs

A number of properties across the borough have had their permitted development rights withdrawn with regard to roof alterations. Therefore, a planning application is required for extensions, dormer windows and other roof alterations. The Article 4 Direction was confirmed in 1984.