Told to make private kitchens into communal kitchens

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    Told to make private kitchens into communal kitchens

    I've been told by local Planning Dept that my property has no planning use class since it was split from another property.

    It is set out as 4 small self-contained bedsit/studio flats which are between 19sqm and 22sqm each (plus nice en-suites).

    Planning have told me it is unlikely I will get permission for the 4 small flats as they dont meet minimum housing standard (of 31sqm each) - but each of them exceeds HMO minimum standards of 13sqm for a 1 person self-contained flat - CONFUSING OR WHAT.

    Should I make a good argument to support the need for these single person flats and submit it ?

    Planning want me to apply for a 3-bed flat and say I can then let rooms and have a shared kitchen - but they all have their own kitchens now and pointlessly removing them would be ££££££.

    Is it possible that I could apply for PP as the 3-bed flat but keep the layout the same as they are?

    The planning officer believes there would be more space for the tenants if their kitchens were removed and they had to use a communal one - but what actually would happen is their kitchens would be blocked off, put back to back and opened in a communal door - each one would have LESS personal space, lose their own kitchenette and be forced to shared things that are currently private.

    It is madness.

    Suggestions are most welcome please.

    #2
    After 4 years such a development would be immune from enforcement as a breach of planning control, so that the four individual flats would be the lawful use of the properties.

    If the planning department have contacted you prior to the 4 years having passed, then your options are limited to making a planning application that has a chance of being successful.

    That will then depend on the policies in the Local Plan for your particular local planning authority.

    Making an application for a change of use of the building to be an HMO under Use Class C4 without making any changes to the number of kitchens may be one possible way to obtain planning permission, with the opportunity to appeal if that is not granted.

    The definition used in Use Class C4 refers to shared basic amenities.
    "C4 Houses in multiple occupation - Small shared houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals, as their only or main residence, who share basic amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom."

    The words "kitchen or bathroom" are only used as an example in the definition.
    Can you find space for a shared "Utility Room" with a washing machine, as that would meet the definition of a shared basic amenity.

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