What an Article 4 Direction is

Certain minor works and alterations to single dwelling houses can be carried out without planning permission from the council.

Development of this kind is called ‘Permitted Development’ and falls into various classes which are listed in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended).

If the council believes that specific planning problems exist in an area, i.e. alterations to houses that harm the character of a conservation area, it can make an ‘Article 4 Direction’ for that area, and certain types of development would no longer be exempt from the need for planning permission.

Why an Article 4 Direction is needed for the Queen’s Park conservation area

The Queen’s Park Conservation Area Character Statement was adopted by council in September 2018 following public consultation. This document identified the cumulative loss of architectural details (including the change of traditional windows to uPVC double glazing as well as inappropriate timber windows, modern doors, loss of front boundary walls, modern railings and gates and painting of unpainted brick features) on the fronts of single dwelling houses as being detrimental to the character and appearance of the conservation area.

As a result, a recommendation was made in the Character Statement to prepare an Article 4 Direction to halt these harmful changes where they affect the street frontages of houses.

Informal consultation was undertaken in February and March 2020, with 65% of respondents either agreeing or strongly agreeing that an Article 4 Direction would help to preserve the character and appearance of the Queen’s Park conservation area.

A report was taken to the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture (TECC) Committee on 18 June 2020 where the Committee authorised the making of a non-immediate Article 4 Direction to the Queen’s Park conservation area to remove the permitted development rights listed, to come into effect in twelve (12) months from this date, subject to statutory consultation.

You can find a copy of the report taken to the TECC Committee online.

What the benefits of an Article 4 Direction are for the Queen’s Park conservation area

Article 4 Directions can bring benefits to people living, working or visiting the conservation area.

They include:

  • protecting the special interest of the Queen’s Park conservation area
  • helping to ensure that new development within the conservation area preserves the area’s special character
  • protecting the conservation area from unsympathetic change
  • encouraging the use of local and traditional building materials

What an Article 4 Direction means for a single dwelling owner

Certain Permitted Development rights would be withdrawn where they relate to the street frontages, which means a planning application will be required to undertake those works.

An Article 4 Direction does not prevent the type of development to which it applies, it simply requires that planning permission be sought for the proposed development, which must be sympathetic to the special chracter of the Queen’s Park conservation area.

No retrospective action can or would be taken for unsympathetic works carried out prior to the introduction of the Article 4 Directions.

The types of development that are proposed to be controlled by the Article 4 Direction

To prevent the gradual and cumulative erosion of the special character of the Queen’s Park conservation area, the following development to street frontages could be controlled by the Article 4 Direction:

  • the change of windows and doors, including materials, details and method of opening
  • alterations to the roof including changing the roof materials and inserting rooflights into the roof slopes (dormers are not permitted development and already require planning permission)
  • the construction of a porch outside any external door
  • the provision of hard surfaces or the replacement in whole or part of such a surface (including the removal of traditional encaustic and terracotta tiling to front paths and stepped approaches)
  • the installation, alteration (including removal) or replacement of a chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe on any elevation of a dwelling house
  • the erection, construction, maintenance, improvement or alteration of a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure
  • the painting of the exterior of a building
  • the demolition of the whole or any part of any gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure on a street elevation or fronting a public highway

The properties that will be affected by the Queen’s Park Article 4 Direction

An article 4 Direction would mainly apply to single dwellings and small HMOs.

Flats and commercial properties already have much more limited permitted development rights.

All single dwelling houses located within the Queen’s Park conservation area will be subject to the Article 4 Direction.

Permitted development rights for works to boundary walls and fences etc apply to all properties, however, so this aspect of an Article 4 Direction would cover all properties within the Queen’s Park conservation area.


What does not require planning permission for a single dwelling house if an Article 4 Direction is implemented

Planning permission is not required to carry out repairs to a property (unless a listed building) or to replace features exactly ‘like for like’. For example recovering a handmade clay tiled roof with handmade clay tiles or replacing timber sliding sash windows with matching sliding sash windows.

The Article 4 Direction would not affect existing permitted development rights for works to the rear of houses, such as rear extensions.

For further information on what currently requires planning permission, please refer to the Planning Portal.

How to submit your comments

To submit comments, use the Council’s Consultation Portal between June 4 2021 and July 4 2021.