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Permitted development

What is Permitted Development?

Certain types of extensions and changes of use, subject to certain limits and conditions, do not require full planning permission from the council. These forms of development are called permitted development (PD) and are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 ('the GPDO). Details about these rights and conditions relating to their use can be found on the Planning Portal website.

What are Article 4 Directions?

An Article 4 Direction is an order made by a local planning authority to restrict and remove certain PD rights for part of, or all, their area.

B1(c) to C3 Article 4 Direction

The Government introduced a new Permitted Development right in 2016 which gives the right to change from B1(c) use (light industrial) to C3 use (residential). In November 2016, Islington Council made three Article 4 Directions to withdraw this Permitted Development right, relating to the Vale Royal / Brewery Road Locally Significant Industrial Site, the Central Activities Zone within Islington and other B1(c) locations across the borough.

On 28 July 2017 Islington Council confirmed the three Article 4 Directions. The Directions will come into force on 3 November 2017. From this date, light industrial uses (use class B1(c)) will need planning permission to change to residential use (use class C3). The three Directions; maps showing the areas covered by the Directions; and the public notice relating to the Directions can all be viewed below.

A1 to A2 Article 4 Direction

The Government introduced a new Permitted Development right in April 2015 which gives the right to change from a shop (A1 use class) to a financial and professional service (A2 use class) such as an estate agent or bank, without the need for planning permission. In May 2016, Islington Council made three Article 4 Directions to withdraw this Permitted Development right, relating to Town Centres, Local Shopping Areas and dispersed shops in the rest of the borough.

On 17 November 2016 Islington Council confirmed the three Article 4 Directions. The Directions will come into force on 26 May 2017. From this date, shops (use class A1) will need planning permission to change to financial and professional services (use class A2). The three Directions; maps showing the areas covered by the Directions; and the public notice relating to the Directions can all be viewed below.

'Flexible uses' Article 4 Direction

On 11 July 2013, the council published an Article 4 direction to remove PD rights which allow the change from A1 (shops), B1 (offices) and D1 (community uses) to temporary 'flexible uses'. On 17 October 2013 Islington Council confirmed this Direction.  The Direction came into force on 15 July 2014 and applies throughout the borough. The notice of confirmation and the confirmed Article 4 Direction can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.

Office to residential Article 4 Direction

In 2013, the council confirmed an Article 4 Direction which would remove office to residential PD rights for the whole borough outside the CAZ (which is exempt from the PD rights). The Secretary of State subsequently cancelled this Direction in July 2014. The council then challenged the Secretary of State’s reasons for cancellation. As a result of this, the Secretary of State acknowledged that the cancellation had been based on flawed evidence. Following further discussions between Islington Council and the Department for Communities and Local Government, a smaller area to be covered by the Article 4 Direction was agreed.

The Secretary of State modified Islington’s Article 4 Direction on 17 September 2014. The Direction now covers specific clusters of office uses in various parts of the borough. The Direction came into force on 18 September 2014.

For the avoidance of doubt, any prior approval permissions granted prior to 18 September 2014 will not be affected.

The modified Direction and map of the areas covered by the Direction can be downloaded at the bottom of the page.

The Government amended the GPDO in April 2016 to remove the office to residential PD rights exemption. This exemption will be removed from 30 May 2019. This gives local authorities the opportunity to put in place Article 4 Directions to protect offices in the previously exempted areas. For full details please refer to the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2016.

How will an Article 4 Direction affect me?

An Article 4 Direction does not affect the existing use of the property or any current planning permissions. However, it does reintroduce a requirement for planning permission which would have previously been given automatically through PD rights.

How do I use the new Permitted Development rights?

  • For prior approval applications, including office to residential PD rights, retail to residential PD rights and householder extension PD rights, an application for Prior Approval must be made before the PD rights can be utilised. Application forms and further details on how to apply for prior approval are set out in the Planning Applications section of the website. Guidance notes explaining the Prior Approval process for office to residential PD rights, retail to residential PD rights and householder extension PD rights are available to download at the bottom of the page. Islington Council also require a car-free statement or Unilateral undertaking to be submitted alongside certain Prior Approval applications. Draft documents can be downloaded at the bottom of the page. The application fee for Prior Approval applications is £80. Completed documents should be e-mailed to planning@islington.gov.uk. Applicants should be aware that the office to residential PD right is not applicable in certain parts of the borough. A map of these areas is available to download at the bottom of this page.

  • For the PD rights which allow larger rear household extensions, an planning completion notice is also available to download below, to assist you to submit the mandatory information required once your household extension is complete. Completed documents should be e-mailed to planning@islington.gov.uk.
  • For existing A4 uses, certain PD rights do not apply if the A4 use is a designated Asset of Community Value (ACV), or if there is an application for ACV which has yet to be determined. If applicants intend to utilise any PD right involving A4 uses, they must first send a written request to the local planning authority to ascertain whether the building has been nominated/designated as an ACV. This request must include the address of the building and relevant contact details. Requests should be emailed to planning@islington.gov.uk.

Where can I find further information?

If you wish to seek further advice on these procedures, we offer a pre-application advice service.

Certain forms of extension and changes of use will require approval or notification under the building regulations. For advice on this matter please see our Building Control webpage.

Applicants are advised to check Islington's policies map to identify whether their property is in a conservation area. The new PD rights for householder extensions and retail to residential do not apply within conservation areas, and all applications in these areas would require planning permission.

Does the Community Infrastructure Levy apply to Permitted Development?

Under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations 2010 (as amended), development commenced under general consent is liable to pay the Mayor of London's CIL, which is currently in operation, and will be liable to pay the Islington CIL, once this is adopted.

'General consent' includes PD rights granted under the General Permitted Development Order 1995 (as amended). If you intend to commence development under a general consent you must submit a Notice of Chargeable Development (CIL Form 5) to the local authority before you commence this development. The only exception to this requirement is if the development in question is less than 100 square metres of new floorspace and the development does not comprise one or more new dwellings.

In accordance with the CIL Regulations, CIL will not be charged on existing floorspace to be retained or demolished as a part of the development where any part of the building has been in lawful use for a continuous period of at least six months within the period of 12 months ending on the day the notice of chargeable development is submitted or served. Further details and the Notice of Chargeable Development are available on the Planning Portal website

Contact us

Please contact the Planning Policy Team at LDF@islington.gov.uk if you require any further information or if you have any problems accessing the documents (i.e. any of the links are broken or direct to the wrong document).

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