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Article 4 Directions

An Article 4 Direction allows the Secretary of State or the local planning authority to withdraw specified permitted development rights across a defined area. For more information see Article 4 of the General Permitted Development Order.

Office to residential use

The council has been working on an Article 4 Direction to bring the conversion of office to residential use under planning control.

Article 4 Directions can be used to remove specific permitted development rights for certain uses, buildings or areas. When permitted development rights are removed, anyone wanting to carry out the described development will first need planning permission.

Since 2013, there has broadly been a permitted development for the change of vacant office space to residential use. In Enfield, this has resulted in the loss of office space and inconsistent standards of accommodation. We commissioned research on the level of threat to the local area and started work to prepare a new Article 4 Direction. A new Labour group Article 4 implementation working party was set up. Membership included lead officers and:

  • Cllr Aksanoglu
  • Cllr Bond
  • Cllr Gunawardena
  • Cllr Savva

Government changes to planning legislation announced in July, and which come into force from the end of August 2020, mean that the intended Article 4 Direction is no longer viable.

We are now investigating alternative options for this important issue for Enfield’s communities.

We have prepared a position statement and have made the relevant Research Report and Statement of Justification available below:

You can tell us your views about changes to planning legislation on our consultations page.

We will continue to update these pages as work progresses.

Change of use to a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

If you're considering changing a residential dwelling (in use class C3) to an HMO (in use class C4), you will need to apply for planning permission. This is because we have withdrawn permitted development rights for this type of development through an Article 4 Direction (PDF).

Conservation areas

To protect particularly important features in a conservation area, we may issue an Article 4 Direction. This means that if you're planning any development, you will have to submit a planning application for certain works that would not normally require it. You will find links to Article 4 Directions in the relevant conservation area pages.