What is an Article 4 Direction?

    Certain types of development do not always require planning permission from the Local Planning Authority. These are called ‘permitted development rights’. An Article 4 Direction is a special planning regulation that can be adopted for all or part of an area by a Local Planning Authority to remove specific permitted development rights, meaning that planning consent is therefore required.

    For further information, the Planning Portal provides a useful summary of permitted development rights, Use Classes Order and provides links to related legislation which need to be referred to in applications.

    Which permitted development rights are proposed to be removed?

    OPDC is proposing to remove permitted development rights to change Use Class E (Commercial, Business and Service) to Use Class C3 (Dwellinghouse / residential) within the area shown on the map. Class E includes:

    • Shops; 
    • Financial and professional services; 
    • Food and drink; 
    • Offices; 
    • Light industrial; 
    • Research and development of products or processes; 
    • Some health/community infrastructure (clinics, health centres, creches, nurseries, day centre);
    • Some indoor recreation uses

    This change will enable us to consider any such developments through a formal planning process to ensure that they accord with its policies.

    Why are these rights being removed?

    The Government introduced new permitted development rights in April 2021 that allow owners to convert their property from industrial or commercial space (Use Class E) to a residential use (Use Class C3 – dwellinghouse/ residential) without the need for planning permission. 

    These permitted development rights apply in certain circumstances and are also subject to a prior approval process that considers several criteria which must be satisfied. Further guidance on the use classes and rules regarding these permitted development rights can be found on the Planning Portal.

     OPDC wants to ensure that the employment opportunities offered by local businesses are protected and Park Royal’s status as a Strategic Industrial Location (SIL) is preserved and enhanced. The introduction of new residential uses in an unplanned manner can be harmful to businesses causing disruption to business operation and disturbance to the new residents. 

    The OPDC area includes London’s largest designated industrial area, with 1,700 businesses employing over 40,000 people and generating £2.1 billion a year for the UK economy. It is vital to serving the need of London’s population and businesses and supporting the regional and national economy. Business operations in the Strategic Industrial Land (SIL) area (see Proposed Article 4 Direction map for proposed SIL boundary) would include uses classified as Use Class E uses, and the new permitted development rights would allow for these to be converted to residential uses without the need for planning permission. This has the potential to erode the industrial floorspace in our area. 

    The protection of SIL in the OPDC area is a fundamental part of the overall planning strategy for the area. Future plans to deliver tens of thousands of new jobs and economic growth through industrial intensification would be compromised through the loss of industrial capacity and the introduction of residential uses could severely undermine opportunities to deliver future industrial development and comprehensive regeneration. 

    The introduction of new residential uses, in an unplanned and uncontrolled manner using permitted development rights, could also compromise the ongoing operations of neighbouring industrial premises or future industrial development because they will be more sensitive to issues such as noise, odour, 24-hour operational activity of industrial businesses and sunlight/daylight impacts. 

    Given the scale and importance of our industrial area to the local, London and national economy, the harm identified above poses a significant risk and potential for negative impacts. Therefore, it is considered important to begin the process of putting in place an Old Oak and Park Royal specific Article 4 direction as soon as possible. 

    The intention of the Article 4 direction is not to halt all changes of use of Use Class E uses to residential use. Rather, the direction will give OPDC more control over change of use applications through the planning process, to help protect the industrial area. It will also allow the consideration of other planning matters such as affordable housing or amenity space provision to be considered with change of use applications, which would not otherwise be possible with the permitted development rights in force.

    How will the permitted development rights be removed?

    On 25th June 2021, OPDC made a non-immediate Article 4 Direction to remove permitted development rights and to reintroduce the need for planning permission for the conversion of industrial and commercial space to houses or flats within areas designated as Strategic Industrial Location (SIL) in OPDC's boundary. You can also view the map in further detail here.

    We’re holding a public consultation between 8 July and 30 July 2021, where you can view the proposals and provide your feedback. 

    Once the consultation exercise has finished, OPDC will review all the representations it has received and make a decision whether or not to confirm the Direction. If the Article 4 Direction is confirmed it will come into effect on 1st August 2022. This will have the effect of removing specific permitted development rights meaning the change of use of buildings currently in Class E use to a residential use (C3) would then require a planning application for planning permission. 

    You can view OPDC’s consultation plan here, which details how and when we have consulted the public. 

    How can I comment on the proposals?

    The proposals are subject to public consultation from 8 July to 30 July 2021. OPDC will consider the representations received when making a decision on whether or not to confirm the Article 4 Direction. If you would like to submit comments about this proposal please email article4@opdc.london.gov.uk by midnight on 30 July 2021 or write to: 

    Article 4 Consultation

    You can also view all the materials and submit comments online via this consultation platform. 

    Any views that you make may be available for public examination subject to data protection rules.

    When would any changes come into force?

    Once the consultation exercise has finished, OPDC will review all the representations it has received and make a decision whether or not to confirm the Direction. If the Direction is confirmed, it will come into effect on 1st August 2022.

    Where can I find more information?

    Should you have any questions please email the Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation at: article4@opdc.london.gov.uk or telephone on 020 7983 6520. 

    You can also find all the consultation materials as well as submit your comments online at consult.opdc.london.gov.uk, or go to one of three locations below to find hardcopies of all the materials. 

    •  City Hall, Queen’s Walk, London, SE1 2AA (please email article4@opdc.london.gov.uk to arrange an appointment)
    • Brent Hub Community Enterprise Centre, 6 Hillside, London NW10 8BN (9am – 5pm)
    • The Collective, Nash House, Old Oak Lane, London, NW10 6FF (9am – 6pm)

    For enquiries, to request printed copies or an alternative format (translations, Braille or audio format), please email the Old Oak & Park Royal Development Corporation at: article4@opdc.london.gov.uk or telephone on 020 7983 6520.