203Residents in the Framwellgate Moor area are being asked for their views on stronger regulations for student housing.

Following consultation, an Article 4 direction is due to come into force in areas of Durham City in September. This means planning permission is required before family homes can be turned into student accommodation.

During this consultation, Durham County Council was asked to consider whether there was an option to put the same direction in other areas. Following consideration of the evidence, it was decided that there is a case to support an Article 4 direction in areas of Framwellgate Moor, if supported by local residents.

While the number of students living in Framwellgate Moor is relatively low compared to Durham City, the council is asking local residents for their views on the proposed introduction of the direction. The Article 4 direction would cover areas of Framwellgate Moor, Newton Hall and Pity Me.

The consultation opened yesterday (13 May) until 16 June and people can have their say online at www.durham.gov.uk/consultation or find out more and have questions answered by attending one of our drop-in sessions:

  •    Wednesday, 18 May, 1pm to 5pm – Framwellgate Moor Community Centre
  •    Thursday, 2 June, 3pm to 7pm – All Saints Church, Newton Hall

Information will also be available at Newton Hall Library as well as Clayport Library and County Hall.

An Article 4 direction, once in place, removes the permitted development rights – under national planning regulations – that currently allow owners to turn properties into small Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) without planning permission.

 

By bringing these conversions into the planning process, the council can consider the impacts of such a change as well as allowing local residents to have their say on applications.

Cllr Neil Foster, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration and culture, said: “Students contribute enormously to the area, both culturally and economically, so are very welcome but we’re also aware that student accommodation is a key issue for residents. Introducing Article 4 directions can help make sure we achieve the right balance for our communities but it’s vital that everyone has the opportunity to put forward their views so we can make an informed decision.”

The introduction of an Article 4 direction requires a year’s notice before it can come into force. The council started the process in February to allow for full consultation with local residents and other interested parties before potentially confirming the order later in the year. If agreed, it would then come into force in February 2017. Introducing an Article 4 direction has no effect on homes already converted.