Thomas obtained planning permission for a 5-bedroom HMO in Leeds. However, the house has 6 bedrooms and he wanted to be able to rent all 6. He approached Just Planning and we advised that adding one additional resident would not fall under the definition of ‘development’ and would not require planning permission.
Internal changes to a building do not need planning permission and there is no change of use because both a 5-bedroom and 6-bedroom HMO fall within the same use class (C4).
We applied to Leeds City Council for a lawful development certificate (also known as a certificate of lawfulness) to confirm this fact. The council refused the certificate on vague and confused grounds. We appealed their decision and was delighted when the inspector backed us and issued the certificate. The inspector also made a full award of costs in our favour, meaning that the council will now have to pay our client’s costs in mounting the appeal.