I head a small Not for Profit providing supported accommodation for vulnerable people. One of our projects is a four bedroomed property previously used as a traditional dwelling house. We believe we have travelled from C3a to C3b classification, our residents live in a small HMO where they live as a family or group. They carry out household tasks together such as cleaning communal areas, cooking and they have a communal budget for shared supplies ie. bread, milk, tea, washing up liquid etc as well as group support meetings.
The council claim that we have travelled from C3 to C4 and require planning permission, they also claim we are in breach of the Article 4 Directive, and further state that as our residents hold separate License Agreements (standard practice in supported housing) rather than a joint tenancy this supports their position, placing us in breach in of planning permission. I can’t find anything to support the argument that a tenancy agreement has any bearing on planning status. I have queried this with the local planners and pointed out that in our opinion travel within a planning category is not considered development and therefore does not require planning permission or breach Article 4.
Could anyone shed any light on this?