• Forth Action Invest

A Quick Guide To Investing In Manchester Article 4 Areas

Updated: Aug 6, 2019




Manchester has seen huge growth over the last decade, With its transport connections property development and interest from international businesses. There is also said to be over 50,000 Students currently living and studying in Manchester. With this new wave of demand and investment, it is no surprise that property investors are very keen on the city and the high profit which can be earned from creating high-quality accommodation. One of those investment strategies which is increasing in interest from investors from all over the country is HMO's.


Unfortunately adopting an HMO strategy in Manchester is somewhat more tricky than it was some years ago. One reason for that being the introduction of Article 4 Directory. In this blog, we would like to outline some quick points to consider when investing in an Article 4 Area in Manchester.



What is Article 4 Directory?


The Article 4 Direction was put in place to remove permitted development rights for change of use from a class C3 "dwelling house's" to a class C4 "small HMO"

Permission for the change of use would need to be approved by the local planning authority, Often confused with the licensing offices which have nothing to do with each other.

Article 4 Directory covers the whole of Manchester Council constituency, Salford Council and Trafford Council.



Trafford Council Article 4 Boundary



Getting planning permission for C4 Class in Article 4 area


Firstly we would advise consulting with the relevant council, Who are surprisingly helpful in the matter when it comes to giving you an idea if a planning application would be done in vain or not.


But ultimately you would need to consult with a specialist planning consultant who has experience on the subject, to give you the best chance of getting an application approved.

We have found the council generally are more concerned with the areas which already show a very high concentration of shared housing.




Article 4 Direction for Small HMO's in Salford



The image below was taken from the Manchester's core strategy and shows the areas in Manchester which has a high concentration of shared housing. If you were thinking of applying for c3 to c4 use within any of the areas highlighted within the darker areas on the map... The answer will more than likely be No.

Manchester's High concentration HMO Areas

As you can see from the photo, Postcodes such as...

M14 -Fallowfield

M20 - Withington, Old Moat,

M12 M13- Ardwick

M15 - Hulme

M19 - Levenshulme

Are within the high concentration areas in Manchester and would be extremely difficult if not impossible to gain the necessary planning approval for class C4 use.


"But does this mean I can get planning permission approved in other A4 areas which are not shown in the image?"


The simple answer is no... There is still no guarantee that investing in any A4 area will be approved which is why investors are very cautious, and rightly so. Manchester's Development DM1 policy must also be fully compliant when submitting your planning application. More information on DM1 policy and Manchester's core strategy can be found on the councils' website.



Which Article 4 Areas stand a chance at getting planning approval?

Article 4 Open wards in Manchester & Salford


Article 4 Directory has been applied over the whole of Manchester & largely parts of Salford consistency, However, some wards are still open according to the council. We have outlined the wards which are still open for procurement in Manchester & Salford although the postcodes could still fail if the council has concerns over the specific location.








Useful links and contacts when considering HMO investment in an Article 4 Area.


- Direction Offices

- Planning Consultant

- Core Strategy

- Licensing


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