Permitted Development Rights & Article 4 Direction: Do They Affect Your Development Plans?

Year Published: 2016

Certain types of extensions to buildings and changes of use of buildings do not require full planning permission from the council. This form of development is called a permitted developments. They derive from a general planning permission which was granted not by the local authority but by parliament. This is due to the nature of the work required being of a scale or type that is not likely to have an unacceptable impact.

Examples of permitted developments:

  • Development within the curtilage of a dwelling house;
  • A minor operation e.g. the erection of the boundary walls;
  • Change in use to a building;
  • Temporary buildings and their uses.

Work which falls under permitted development is still development for which planning permission is required. It is just that the application process is removed and permission is automatically granted. However, it is key to remember that the permitted development planning permission may be subject to certain exceptions, limitations and conditions

What restrictions are there on permitted development rights?

The character and appearance of buildings and neighbourhoods can be significantly damaged by alterations carried out under permitted development rights. For example, the introduction of unsympathetic modern windows and porches can result in a uniform row of houses losing its character.

Local planning authorities can restrict the scope of rights provided with permitted development by the introduction of either;

  1. Article 4 Directions
  2. Conditions on planning permission

What are Article 4 Directions?

The withdrawal of permitted development rights under an Article 4 Direction means that deemed planning permission is no longer granted automatically. A planning application needs to be made. An Article 4 Direction does not prohibit development but enables the local planning authority to have some control over the proposed development.

The use of an Article 4 Direction to remove national permitted development rights should only occur in situations where it is necessary to protect local amenity or the wellbeing of the area. Within the Direction it should clearly state the potential harm that it intends to address. There should be a particularly strong justification for the withdrawal of permitted development rights. This should relate to:

  • A wide area of land e.g. those covering the entire area of a local planning authority, national park or an area of outstanding national beauty;
  • Agriculture and forestry development. An Article 4 Direction related to agriculture and forestry will need to demonstrate that permitted development rights pose a serious threat to areas or landscapes of exceptional beauty;
  • Cases where prior approval powers are available to control permitted development;
  • Leisure plots and uses.

Does an Article 4 Direction mean that development is not allowed?

An Article 4 Direction means that the development in question cannot be carried out under permitted development. A planning application is needed. By doing this it gives a local planning authority the opportunity to consider a proposal in more detail.

For more information on permitted development rights or Article 4 Directions, please contact our Conveyancing team on 0161 475 7676.

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