The owner of a terraced house which has been operating as a HMO for more than a year providing rooms to the socially excluded is asking for retrospective permission for the change of use.

The property 102 Richmond Road is being managed by a not for profit organisation Chatfield Housing which is used for referrals by the Single Homeless Service Team (SHS) at Croydon Council.

Owner of the Richmond Road five-bedroom house Mohammed Khan, who has put in the application for change of use had previously been refused permission in 2014 and failed on appeal to transform the house in to two two-bedroom flats. In 2003 the council also refused permission to turn it in to a hostel.

As recent as two years ago it was listed on Tripadvisor as a ‘London Holiday Stop’ offering bed and breakfast with the one and only review describing it as a: ‘beautiful place to stay, clean and an excellent host. Thanks Mohammed.’

In January, Croydon Council introduced an Article 4 Direction, a planning restriction which requires owners to seek planning permission for change of use to change multi-bedroom properties in to small HMOs houses occupied by between three and six unrelated individuals.

The point of the direction was to protect applicants from turning family homes in to HMOs under permitted development rights without the need for planning permission

The accompanying documents state the current occupants share amenities such as a kitchen and bathroom. A member of the Chatfield Housing Team, which aims to prevent homelessness, social exclusion – working with ex servicemen, refugees and victims of domestic violence – visits the property once a day.