Fri 13th Jul by Harry Warwick and Hatti Dingle
Article 4 Direction Comes into Force
In March this year, the controversial Article 4 Direction, which is intended to disperse Southampton's student population, came into force.
The council hopes that the Direction will help to minimise the effects of antisocial behaviour and transience associated with large groups of student residents.
The Direction itself states that houses that were previously in the C3 category can no longer be changed to HMOs without planning permission. This means that, for instance, should students wish to move into a house that a family inhabited before them, the landlord would first have to seek authorisation from Southampton City Council. Certain forms of care homes also fall within the C3 category.
But since the article is unable to reduce the number of HMOs as of March 2012, some have questioned how effective this policy will be. Other residents have suggested that living in the midst of student communities can be a positive experience and that legislating against HMOs is unnecessary.
To find out the council's justification for a policy that has drawn so much criticism, Surge News spoke to Conservative councillor Daniel Fitzhenry.