We provide architectural services from survey to completion via planning and building regulations, and everything else in between. We work primarily in the residential sector, and also on niche small commercial projects, for developers, investors, contractors and homeowners.
We have long-term repeat clients and well-established working relationships with such other consultants as surveyors, structural engineers, drainage engineers and consultants, project managers, quantity surveyors, m&e consultants, environmental consultants, landscape designers, planning consultants and contractors so we can provide the complete package for any project size.
I work on a variety of HMO and serviced-accommodation projects, from the conversion of family houses to large commercial buildings undergoing a planning change of use.
For smaller properties (up to six residents) Permitted Development rights allow a change from C3 to C4 Use Class (dependent on there not being an Article 4 Direction in place). In these cases I always recommend to clients that we submit an application for a Lawful Development Certificate to ensure that the HMO use is formalised. This is an important proof of lawful use should they choose to borrow against the property or sell it. Where an Article 4 Direction is in place then Permitted Development rights are removed and planning consent is required to convert a family home C3(a) to C4.
With the advent on 1st October 2018 of Mandatory Licensing of all HMOs with two or more separate households, regardless of the number of storeys, minimum room sizes will apply for bedrooms. It is important that these room sizes are taken into account in any new development now, so that the property is ready for licensing. All the schemes I work on are designed to meet these minimum standards, and also in the East Midlands to meet the DASH (Decent and Safe Homes) standards, which actually exceed those of the national legislation in some areas.
HMO licensing is NOT the same as planning consent or Building Regulations consent. These are three separate areas of legislation with separate applications and approvals processes. As noted above, planning consent is often required in order to create an HMO. Building Regulations consent will always be required for any construction work. In addition, developers should be aware of their health and safety responsibilities under the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015